Vienna – ESI at symposium on “What flight, expulsion and exile does to children”

5 May 2021
Video: Bruno Kreisky Forum

ESI’s Gerald Knaus was invited to participate in an online symposium organised by Bruno Kreisky Forum for international Dialogue in cooperation with the Austrian Society for Exile Research.

Gerald’s presentation focused on the moral responsibility of countries to safeguard the Geneva Refugee Convention, and how inhumane policies such as pushbacks affect its principles and the lives of refugees. In addition, Gerald outlined why it is key to stop irregular migration to prevent deaths at sea. He stressed the urgent need to establish regular migration pathways through cooperation with countries such as Turkey and Tunisia and emphasised that refugee resettlement programmes are essential to assist refugees in need.

 The symposium was led by Ruth Wodak (professor in linguistics at the University of Vienna) and Ernst Berger (Austrian psychiatrist) and was divided into two panels.

The panel in which Gerald participated was on the topic of “Refugees and Human Rights”, along with Manfred Nowak (Austrian human rights lawyer) who presented on “Deprivation of liberty of children”, and Anna Sporrer, (Austrian judge and Vice-President of the Austrian Administrative Court) who spoke about “The best interests of the child in asylum and alien law proceedings”. The panel was moderated by Philipp Ther (professor of Central European History at the University of Vienna).

The symposium commemorated the “Day of Remembrance against Violence and Racism in Memory of the Victims of National Socialism”, which was on 5 May.