The Austrian Development Agency (ADA) promotes human rights of children, young people as well as people with disabilities. Projects and programmes of ADA advancing human rights also focus on elderly people, religious and ethnic minorities, indigenous peoples and other marginalised groups.

There are 2.2 billion children and youth under 18 worldwide, accounting for about a third of the global population. In many countries, such as Uganda, Burkina Faso and Mozambique, young people even make up the majority of the population. Projects and programmes for the protection and promotion of the rights of children and youth are based on the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. This stipulates respect for four core principles: the right of the child to life, protection from discrimination, the best interests of the child and the right to participation.

Eighty per cent of persons with disabilities live in developing countries and one in five of the poorest people in the world is disabled. In pursuit of the principle of ‘Nothing about us without us’, Austrian Development Cooperation adopts an inclusive approach and promotes in particular the participation, equal rights and empowerment of persons with disabilities. Key elements here are respect for dignity and individual autonomy, accessibility, equal opportunities, respect for the developing abilities of children with disabilities and for their right to preserve their identity.