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Migrants to receive guidelines for EU values

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Refugees in Spielfeld, Styria. Photo: ORF
09:25 CET+01:00
Refugees and migrants arriving in Austria will soon be given a folder as they cross the border, containing information about European fundamental rights and freedoms, and urged to comply with them.

This is part of a package of EU-wide measures which are being put together at a conference in Sarajevo, at which Austria’s Interior Minister Johanna Mikl-Leitner is a keynote speaker.

The idea for the information folder comes from an Austrian initiative which was conceived for migrants arriving from the West Balkans in 2010. It stresses the values of tolerance and inclusion.

"For example, perhaps a father intends to send his son, but not his daughter, to kindergarten," Mikl-Leitner said.

"It’s not acceptable that some migrant men would fail to respect a policewoman because she is a woman. Religion cannot supersede state laws and become used for radicalization," she added.

The folders, which will be ready in a few weeks time, will also contain information aimed at Muslim women - informing them that they should wear the headscarf if they choose to, but not because they have been ordered to by a family patriarch. It will also stress that girls have an equal right to further education.

The European Council is due to adopt a package of measures which will be binding for all member states. Austria has already implemented some of the measures - including setting up a counselling centre for the prevention of terrorism, reviewing its Law on Islam, and setting up a special police training programme to aid the early detection of victims of radicalization.

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