Austria Adds Children's Rights to Constitution

VIENNA -- Austria's parliament has approved a bill that incorporates children's rights in the country's constitution.

The measure affirms, among other things, a child's right to being raised without violence and to having direct contact with both parents unless his or her well-being is at stake. It also bans child labor and abuse and calls for the equal treatment of disabled and nondisabled children.

Critics such as the opposition Greens and activist groups say the bill doesn't go far enough.

But Verena Remler, state secretary for family affairs, called Thursday's vote "an important signal for strengthening the protection and advancement of children in our society."