Legal situation of migrants with chronic diseases, particularly HIV/AIDS, in Austria
Aidshilfe Salzburg, Salzburg, Austria
Background: The paper describes the current legal situation regarding the right of residence of third country fugitives with chronic diseases, particularly HIV/AIDS, in Austria. The majority of the persons concerned has no permanent right of residence in Austria, which precludes longer-term life planning and arrangements.
Methods: The scientific method of choice is the systematic analysis, used here to describe the legal aspects of "asylum". Clients of Aidshilfe Salzburg whose countries of origin are Kenya, Cameroon, Nigeria and Ghana provided legal decisions concerning their cases for this analysis. Based on these data the proceedings of the following government agencies and courts are described and assessed: Federal asylum agency, independent federal asylum senate, asylum court, administrative court and constitutional court.
Results: The legal situation of migrants in Austria has drastically deteriorated since the beginning of the 90s. As a consequence of amendments and revisions of laws and abridged stages of appeal which occur within ever shorter intervals, restrictions of the legal rights of foreigners have become the rule; thus a jurisdiction considering the needs of everyday life has practically become impossible. Even subsidiary protection for sick persons is the exception today though the life of a severely ill person can also be in danger when treatment for the disease in the country of origin cannot or only inadequately be provided. In case this disease, if not treated, causes suffering that equals the pain of torture the patient should not be deported. This could be called "medical prohibition of deportation". Unlike in the former jurisdiction, today cases are not individually assessed; relevant is the possible provision of basic care in the home country, which applies almost always.
Conclusions: The study comes to very pessimistic prospects: Migrants with Aids have to live with an insecure and increasingly threatened status of residence and are in imminent danger of deportation.
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