Statement on our first Workshop on Guidelines and Support Standards for victims of Hate Crime in Europe, 11.-13.03.2015

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In our first Workshop we reflected on different approaches and best practices in order to improve support for Hate Crime victims and to combat hate crimes in Europe

Berlin 17 March 2015:  thirty-one Hate crime community workers as well as academics from 17 European countries (including Russia and Ukraine) convened in Berlin for the first out of two three-day workshop on “Guidelines and Support Standards for Victims of hate Crime in Europe”.  

The project “Guidelines and Support standards for Victims of Hate Crime in Europe” is a contribution to bring together Hate crime community workers from different European states to share and discuss knowledge and expertise. The aim is to formulate guidelines, recommendations and necessary framework requirements for efficient counseling services throughout Europe.

In order to develop guidelines for the support of Hate Crime Victimes in Europe within the conference practitioners as well as academics reflected on different approaches and best practices. Together with Paul Iganski a Professor of Criminology and Criminal Justice at Lancaster University victim-centered approaches were discussed. Kusminder Chahal from the Centre for Trust, Peace and Social Relations at Coventry University gave an overview of support standards. Biplab Basu a consultant at ReachOut (counselling center for victims of right-wing extremist, racist and anti-Semitic violence in Berlin) shared his experiences with the victim centered approach from the perspective of more than 20 years of counseling work.

The first round of working group sessions has already resulted in a set of recommendations for guidelines. This work will be continued in the second workshop in May 2015 by getting deeper into the discussion and setting up concrete guidelines.

“With the help of improved reporting guidelines produced by NGOs and different Experts we observe a rise of Hate Crimes across Europe. We know that Bias Crimes can have deep physical and psychological impact on the victims itself and hate crimes formulates a clear message of hate to victim groups and to our democratic and pluralistic society. We are responsible to support these who are effected by those kinds of unacceptable crimes. Therefore we started to share our wide, deep and specialized knowledge among European NGOs about Hate Crime support work. We are all looking forward for the results of this amazing group of practitioners” says Robert Kusche, Managing Director of Advisory Offices RAA Saxony.

Notes:

This workshop is part of the project called “Guidelines and Support standards for Victims of Hate Crime in Europe “, founded by the Foundation “Remembrance, Responsibility and Future” (EVZ). The project is promoted by Amnesty International, Amadeu Antonio Foundation, UNITED for intercultural action and Bundesarbeitsgemeinschaft Kirche und Rechtsextremismus (BAGK+R). More information is available on http://raa-sachsen.de/index.php/guidelines.html

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