well, it’s been all over the news. the fpö, our highly valued far-right party, publicly demanded that the children of illegal immigrants should be banned from visiting schools in austria. since i read that announcement, i’ve been a.) sick to my stomach and .) interested to find out if there’s no law against that form of malicious agitation. and i found something. but before i get to that, let’s look at this concept in detail.
i think we can agree that education is fundamental not only for understanding and internalize concepts like democracy and the constitutional state, but also the path to a fulfilling and successful career, in most cases. now, if you deny children the access to an education, not only do you diminish any chances on the job market they might have, you also practically take their chance to integrate themselves into a democratic society away.
another point – language. so called illegal immigrants most likely have little to no contact to natives. how are their children supposed to learn the local language, if not through a school? answer: not at all. now, what do we have here?
when you leave immigrants, no matter if “legal” or not, without a chance to get an education, a job and some language skills, you get ghettos. they will stick to their families, to people who understand their language, and never integrate into society. you get the exact problem the fpö pretends to work against! now why would anyone want to do that, to openly work against their goals?
in the parliamental votes of 1999, the fpö got 26,91% of the votes. in 2002, they got 10,01%, and in current statistics, they rank somewhere along 9% of the votes. the fpö is losing voters like it became mandatory. and now they simply react the same way they always did – by trying to be in the media as often as possible. no matter if it’s sissi-land, sword duels or immigrant-bashing actions like this one.
but there’s more. for years, security and immigration have been the fpö’s main topics. any improvement in those topics would take ground from them. so i can only guess that they try to worsen the situation in order to stay necessary.
as for my claim in the first paragraph, let’s take a look at the convention on the rights of the child, article 28: “States Parties recognize the right of the child to education…“. as for a definition article 1 says that a child “…means every human being below the age of eighteen years unless under the law applicable to the child, majority is attained earlier.” this declaration was signed by austria in 1992, by the way.
so, while the fpö’s request is not illegal, it would mean that austria would break a formerly signed treaty. and as the lawpeople say, pacta servanda sunt. qed.