In 2020 the work of the Austrian National Preventive Mechanism (NPM) was significantly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. On the one hand, there was a need to address the new risk people were exposed to due to the coronavirus-related restrictions and associated isolation. On the other hand, these restrictions also directly affected the NPM’s monitoring work. As so many NPMs around the world, the Austrian NPM also had to adapt to these new challenges, to ensure that preventive human rights monitoring continues undisturbed, while at the same time avoiding risk of infection on monitoring visits.
A total of 448 visits were conducted in the reporting year, of which 431 were in institutions and facilities and 17 at police operations. Most of the visits were in retirement and nursing homes (109), in child and youth welfare facilities (102) and in institutions for persons with disabilities (93).
The Austrian Ombudsman Board was established as a National Preventive Mechanism (NPM) in 2012. In this function, it has the statutory mandate to protect and promote human rights. The core of the mandate is the monitoring of public and private institutions and facilities where the freedom of individuals is restricted.
The report on the activities of the Austrian National Preventive Mechanism for 2020 is now available in English.
Source: Austrian Ombudsman Board