The new code of conduct urges refugees to respect Austrian law, refrain from violence.
The state government of Lower Austria has a proposal in front of them called the “Ten Commandments of Immigration,” which specifies rules of conduct for migrants seeking asylum in the country, including refraining from violence and showing gratitude to the host country.
Germany’s state-run DW News reported the details of the proposed code for asylum seekers:
Authorities in Lower Austria are set to issue a new code of conduct for refugees to follow, according to a report on Monday.
The rules would be referred to as the “Ten Commandments of Immigration,” and would be issued to new refugees as soon as they arrive in the state, the German newspaper Welt reported.
Among the rules, migrants are required to:
Adhere to Austrian laws
Adopt “Austrian values” and raise children in accordance with them;
Resolve conflicts nonviolently
Respect religious freedom
Prevent unnecessary suffering to animals
Show gratitude to Austria
The rules would underpin integration courses in 15 different languages for individuals applying for asylum. Refugees would be asked to sign a written agreement to adhere to them.
Officials would issue the “commandments” to refugees alongside their official asylum application documents, the regional minister responsible for asylum policy, Gottfried Waldhäusl, was reported as saying.
The move comes amid growing migrant crime in Austria. The 2018 annual crime report issued by the interior ministry showed that foreign nationals committed almost 40 percent of all crimes in Austria. The police booked 105,812 foreigners for various crimes in 2017, a 100 percent rise compared to ten years ago. The Afghanistan suspects topped the migrant crime list, the official report said.
Just like the Chancellor Sebastian Kurz-led government in Vienna, a coalition made up of the conservative Austrian People’s Party (ÖVP) and the right-wing FPÖ rules the state of Lower Austria. Chancellor Kurz’s government has come under repeated attacks from the mainstream media for its “harsh” immigration policy, including cutbacks on welfare payments going to migrants.
Elected officials belonging to the FPÖ brought forth the proposal. “It is not forbidden to demand a little something in return for granting someone protection for a duration of time and give him everything he needs: namely, a little bit of gratitude for Austria,” FPÖ politician and state’s county commissioner, Gottfried Waldhäusl, said.
The FPÖ leadership has spoken out against mass immigration from Arab and Muslim-majority countries. “Let us put an end to this policy of Islamisation,” FPÖ party chief Heinz Christian Strache said during the 2107 election campaign, “otherwise we Austrians, we Europeans will come to an abrupt end.” He has also proposed legislation that “prohibits fascistic Islam,” similar to the ban Austria placed on the Nazi party and symbols following the Second World War.
The European mainstream media lashed out against the move. An Austrian province asking migrants to follow the law and respect social norms has “caused a stir,” German state broadcaster ARD reported. The “commandment” number ten telling migrants to “live in gratitude to Austria” has “generated [the] most controversy,” the British newspaper Telegraph commented.
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