HUMAN RIGHTS TALK: Holes in the safety net: Do Austrian social policies deliver?


Dienstag, 15. November 2016 – 19:00


Dachgeschoß im Juridicum, Schottenbastei 10-16, 1010 Wien

The recent debate about minimum income benefits or ‘Mindestsicherung’ in Austria, and indeed the questioning of social security systems across Europe, showcases the feeling of unease that accompanies an increasing number of people in so-called social welfare states, having to rely on benefits to get by. Aggravated by the economic crisis, the labour market and working conditions have become ever more precarious: the regular compensation mechanisms, once assured by employment, now fail to guarantee a decent living wage, whilst ‘last resorts’ like Mindestsicherung become the norm for a considerable portion of the working population. Whilst political discourse tends to place blame on each individual, often denouncing social subsidies as encouraging ‘dependence’ or even laziness. The second HUMAN RIGHTS TALK of the semester will examine the obligations of the state to reduce inequalities, and whether ‘Mindestsicherung’ is a good way of implementing and ensuring social, economic and cultural rights to all.

Barbara CARGNELLI-WEICHSELBAUM (Department of Constitutional and Administrative Law, University of Vienna), Erich FENNINGER (Federal Chairman; Volkshilfe), Karin HEITZMANN (Institute for Social Policy, WU Wien), and Daniela KRÖMER (CMS Reich-Rohrwig Hainz Rechtsanwälte, Employment and social law) will discuss. Moderation: Jan Michael MARCHART (Wiener Zeitung).

Kindly observe that this event is held in German. Following the discussion, the Research Centre Human Rights and the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute of Human Rights would like to invite you to join the subsequent reception.

The admission is free, for logistical reasons we kindly ask you to register at!

This HUMAN RIGHTS TALK will be recorded by ZIGE.TV and will be made available on the ZIGE.TV YouTube Channel following the event. The HUMAN RIGHTS TALKS take place in cooperation with Wiener Zeitung, profil online, ZIGE.TV and Zeitschrift juridikum.