ODIHR launched a training programme to help Montenegrin law-enforcement officers better recognize, understand and investigate hate crimes with a three-day course that ended on 29 November 2013 in Podgorica.
The opening event for ODIHR’s Training Against Hate Crimes for Law Enforcement (TAHCLE) programme brought together high-level officials from the Police Academy, the Police Directorate, the Ministries of Education, Interior, and Human and Minority Rights, the Ombudsperson’s Office, and the OSCE Mission in Montenegro.
"TAHCLE provides law-enforcement officers with the technical information and skills needed in responding to hate crimes", said Larry Olomofe, ODIHR’s Training Co-ordinator. "Hate crimes, if left unchecked, can destabilize society. Robust and swift responses by law enforcement agencies send the message that hate crimes will not be tolerated".
"Training and educating law-enforcement personnel is a key element in effectively addressing bias-motivated crimes", said Tanja Tripović, Acting Director of the Police Academy. "The implementation of the TAHCLE programme will benefit society in Montenegro". […]
The OSCE Mission to Bosnia and Herzegovina today launched the Supergrađani / Supergrađanke (Super Citizens) platform, an online mapping tool that crowdsources data regarding hate-motivated incidents, responses to these incidents, and initiatives aimed at their prevention.
Citizens can report such events by filling out a simple form on the website, via email, or through a mobile phone application. Relevant information can be posted in various formats, including photos, notes, video and audio.
"There is a strong willingness among the people of BiH to improve their communities. Community cohesion requires people to talk openly and constructively about sensitive issues, and to point out problems not as an excuse for inaction but rather as a catalyst for change", said Alexander Chuplygin, Senior Representative of the Head of the OSCE Mission to BiH.
The interactive map of community conflict and cohesion aims to foster dialogue among local authorities, civil society, and the judiciary in actively reducing the number of bias-motivated incidents. This project complements the Mission's longstanding work to support legislative reform, justice sector capacity and proactive government and civil society responses to hate crimes. […]
Genuine mutual respect and understanding to overcome hate, prejudice and discrimination must come as a result of collective efforts said OSCE Chairperson-in-Office, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Leonid Kozhara in a statement on today’s International Day for Tolerance.
"The 2013 Ukrainian OSCE Chairmanship is dedicated to promoting in full all commitments by participating States to combat all forms of racial and ethnic hatred, xenophobia and discrimination", Kozhara said. "We need concerted action by governments, civil society and communities to promote tolerance and respect for diversity".
"One of the key priorities of the Ukrainian Chairmanship is to promote education of youth on the principles of tolerance and non-discrimination", the OSCE Chair said. "To ensure that the youth of today has the tools needed to contribute to vibrant, just and successful societies, we have to make human rights education an integral element of their broader educational experience from an early age>/i>". […]
Hate-motivated violence not only does great harm to the individuals and groups targeted, but also poses a threat to security, social cohesion and development in the OSCE region, Ambassador Janez Lenarčič, Director of the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR), said on the release today of the Office’s annual report on hate crime.
The report, "Hate Crimes in the OSCE Region – Incidents and Responses", released ahead of the 16 November International Day for Tolerance, finds that hate crime continues to be a serious problem across the OSCE region.
"Hate crimes have a deep impact on the communities they target, and bring severe – sometimes fatal – harm to their victims. It is the responsibility of governments throughout the OSCE region to do all they can to prevent these crimes", Lenarčič said. "This is even more the case given the negative effects hate-motivated violence has on societies in general".
The report, which identifies a spectrum of violence including threats, vandalism, assault, arson and murder, was presented at a meeting in Warsaw of representatives from 35 OSCE participating States and Partners for Co-operation, responsible for reporting on hate crimes in their respective countries. […]
A number of laws and policies are in place in Armenia to promote the integration of migrants into society, but more steps could be taken to make further improvements, concludes an assessment prepared by the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) in co-operation with the non-governmental organization Migration Policy Group and presented in Yerevan on 23 October 2013.
The assessment notes that opportunities such as the right to apply for permanent residency and to vote in local elections, as well as to hold dual citizenship, aid immigrants and family members who join them in Armenia in integrating.
At the same time, the assessment concludes that the absence of a dedicated anti-discrimination law and an independent agency for promoting equality creates a challenging environment for immigrants. There is also often a lack of targeted state support for immigrants in finding employment, enrolling children in education and participating in political decision-making. […]