Useful terms


Discrimination: Unfair treatment or vilification of groups or individuals (due to gender, age, ethnic origin, religious or political beliefs, sexual orientation, or disability). Often this is done by spreading false evidence about individuals, who in this way are represented in a negative light. (Source:


Racism: Ascribing negative characteristics to groups of people on the basis of common shared features. Those negative attributes are accounted for biologically, i.e. they are said to be innate. If someone e.g. claims that Roma/ Romnja and Sinti/Sintize are in general “thieves and crooks” as they can only be “thieves and crooks” due to their origin, then this is a racist statement. (Source:


Stereotype: Categorising or describing individuals or groups of people on the basis of certain simplified characteristics which are then seen as typical. Prejudice: The assessment of people or facts without profound knowledge in which (positive or negative) judgment is involved. Prejudices can describe something as better or worse than it actually is; they may be positive or negative. (Source:


Migrants: Migrants leave their place of residence or their country in order to live and work in a foreign country or region (permanently or temporarily). Migration background: People whose parent/ whose parents was/were born abroad are referred to as “people with a migration background”, regardless of their nationality. The term is also used for the following (2nd) generation of immigrants. In 2012 around 1,5 million people with a migration background were living in Austria (Source: Statistics Austria, Migration and Integration 2013,


Refugees: A refugee is a person who leaves his/her country of origin (e.g. due to persecution for religious beliefs, social affiliation or ethnic origin, political beliefs). If the application has been approved, the person will be given refugee status on the basis of the Geneva Convention, which means that he/she will have almost the same rights as other nationals. (Source:

  scroll to top