Mutual Tolerance, Education Boost Needed: Austrian Migration Report

Mutual tolerance, education boost needed: Austrian migration report

Posted : Tue, 22 Jan 2008 13:16:03 GMT
Author : DPA

Vienna – Migrants in Austria needed to observe basic rights, but at the same time mutual tolerance was necessary both for Austrians and migrants, an integration survey publicized on Tuesday by the country's Interior Ministry said. Hate-preaching, circumcision of women or honour killings must be strongly sanctioned, the 216-page-report compiled by ministry experts said.

A multi-cultural society is not being ruled out, but the report stresses that the “limits of difference must not be overstretched.”

Integration problems existed chiefly regarding members of the Muslim cultural sphere, that make up about 27 per cent of the 1.3 million people with a migrant background currently living in Austria.

In order to achieve mutual tolerance, the report recommended higher naturalization rates for long-term migrants, integration of migrant role-models in high-prestige jobs in the police force, politics or media.

The report criticized for example that due to satellite transmissions from Turkey, Turkish migrants were “self-sufficient” in their TV consumption.

Education levels of migrants in Austria varied greatly, the survey said. In particular education levels of migrants from Turkey and former Yugoslavia were “significantly lower” than the Austrian average. About 78 per cent of Turkish women aged between 20 and 64 only finished compulsory education, the experts pointed out.

On the other hand, migrants originating from other EU member states where better educated than the average Austrian.

The survey called for creating more opportunities for unemployed immigrants to attain further qualifications, as well as boosting German language skills.

In particular immigrant women and children needed to increase their language competencies, by special classes or attending kindergarten from an early age.