General Human Rights Issues

About the Programme Line

The Ludwig Boltzmann Institute of Fundamental and Human Rights is one of the largest and leading human rights institutes in the German-speaking world. It must be able to provide answers – even at short notice if necessary – to a multitude of urgent as well as future human rights issues and challenges. Under the leadership of the scientific director of the Institute, Michael Lysander Fremuth, the programme line “General Human Rights Issues” was therefore created in 2021.

It serves as a space for those topics that the Institute deals with or intends to deal with and which are not sufficiently covered by the other programme lines. The programme line also combines Michael Lysander Fremuth’s work as director of the institute with his work as professor of fundamental and human rights at the Faculty of Law of the University of Vienna. This applies, for example, to the staff members who are doing their doctorates under his supervision at the Law Faculty of the University of Vienna, but also with regard to the postgraduate master’s programme “Human Rights” at the University of Vienna, which is linked to the institute via the programme line.


A large number of events and projects are carried out within the framework of the programme line. The following three thematic areas, which are dealt with within the framework of independent programmes, are consolidated in terms of staff and organisation:

The programme “Human Rights and International Criminal Law” focuses on the interrelation between the two areas of law and examines their overlaps as well as their respective boundaries. The research activities carried out so far in the framework of this programme cover the following areas:

  • prosecution of key international crimes at the (inter-) national level
  • use of open source and user-generated digital evidence in international criminal proceedings
  • conflict-related sexual violence against men, boys and LBGTI+ persons

The “Human Rights and Digitisation” programme strengthens the expertise and activities of the LBI-GMR in the areas of digitisation and artificial intelligence with regard to related fundamental and human rights opportunities as well as challenges. The scientific work deals in particular with the following human rights-related issues:

  • right to internet access
  • use of “biased” algorithms as a potential risk to the full enjoyment of human and fundamental rights
  • the digital dimension of freedom of assembly

With the programme “Human Rights, Environment and Sustainability”, the institute is increasingly addressing the ecological dimension of human rights. Corresponding activities cover the following aspects, for example:

  • investigation of migration caused by climate change
  • combating climate change in the context of human rights-based strategic process management
  • human rights advice to companies with regard to sustainability

News from the Programme Line