GENEVA, Switzerland, April 1 (UPI) -- The U.N. refugee agency expressed concern Friday about a proposed law in Austria the agency said would restrict rights of asylum-seekers.
Changes to the Austrian Asylum Act are to be discussed by the country's lawmakers next week and could be adopted later in April, Andrej Mahecic, a spokesperson for the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees, said in a release.
"Of particular concern to us are provisions that would require all new asylum-seekers to stay in a reception center for up to seven days, with possible detention for anyone who breaks this rule," Mahecic said at the agency's headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland.
The changes "constitute an unjustified restriction on freedom of movement," Mahecic said, as well as bar new asylum-seekers from seeking their own legal advice or support.
"Even a child awaiting the outcome of an asylum application and whose parents already reside legally in Austria would be affected by this new law," he said. "Families could be separated for up to a week."
He called on Austrian lawmakers to give priority to the best interests of the child when considering the bill.