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Human Rights Advisory Board

The Human Rights Advisory Board was established in the Federal Ministry of the Interior (BM.I) in July 1999, based on a recommendation by the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT) and following the death of Marcus Omofuma during a forced return. It operated until 30. June 2012, when its duties were handed over to the Austrian Ombudsman Board.

The board was tasked with advising the Federal Minister of the Interior on matters of upholding human rights as well as accompanying and monitoring asylum and immigration law enforcement. It was composed of eleven members and just as many vice members, all of whom performed these activities unsalaried.

As one of five NGOs concerned with protecting human rights, we were able to recommend one member and one vice member. Managing director Günter Ecker and his deputy Vesna Kolic filled these respective positions from July 1999 until June 2012.

Ecker and Kolic in the Human Rights Advisory Board Since 1999

The human rights of people in detention pending deportation were always the central concern of the board. On this topic, Vesna Kolic and Günter Ecker were able to contribute expertise from their 18 years of experience in detainee support (detention social care?), as well as bringing human rights issues from their ongoing practical work to the board's attention.

Vesna Kolic contributed to working groups such as "The Detention of Women by Law Enforcement Agencies" and "Information from Detainees". Ecker participated in working groups dealing with "Problematic Deportations", "BMI Guidelines on Federal Care" and "Use of Coercive Power by Law Enforcement - Minimising Risk in Problematic Situations".

Most recently, our members of the Human Rights Advisory Board participated in the selection process for new members as well as the working group "Minors in Asylum and Immigration Legal Proceedings".


Günter ECKER
Alser Straße 20, Atelier, Tür 21
A-1090 Vienna
Tel: +43 (664) 3003224

Goethestraße 22 (1. Floor)
A-4020 Linz
Tel: +43 (664) 8227480


Address: Alser Straße 20/21+22, A-1090 Vienna     Tel: +43 (1) 40 90 480    Fax: +43 (1) 40 90 480 -2      E-mail:      ZVR Number: 460937540