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Ombudsman for children and young people

Based on the Youth Welfare Act 1989 and reinforced by the Child and Youth Services Act 2013  the provinces (Länder) have been obliged to establish children’s and young people’s ombudsman’s offices, which offer comprehensive counselling and aid services for children and young people as well as their parents or legal guardians.

The work of the children’s and young people’s ombudsman includes individual case work such as legal advice, psychological counselling, mediation between those affected, mediation projects and referral to specific (e.g. therapeutic) establishments as well as the general representation of the interests of children's and young people's rights and public relations work. The children’s and young people’s ombudsmen- and women thus play an active role in combating the sexual exploitation of children, support children and young people in the case of their parents’ separation/divorce, protect unaccompanied refugees who are still minors, and promote the participation of children in political processes and the implementation of the UN Convention for the Rights of the Child.

For the networking of the children’s and young people’s ombudsman’s offices at a national level, the “Permanent Conference of the Children’s and Young People’s Ombudspersons in Austria” was established.