States have to find ways to promote freer movement of people, in order to facilitate greater human contacts across borders and help promote other basic rights, participants said today at the opening of a two-day OSCE meeting in Vienna.
The Supplementary Human Dimension Meeting, organized by the Ukrainian OSCE Chairmanship and the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR), brought together representatives of governments and civil society organizations focusing on freedom of movement issues from the Organization’s 57 participating States and its Partners for Co-operation.
Ukrainian Ambassador Ihor Prokopchuk, the Chairperson of the OSCE Permanent Council, stressed the importance of freedom of movement as a fundamental right in facilitating human contacts between citizens of the OSCE participating States. […]
Police trainers from 11 OSCE participating States completed a three-day specialized police training programme on recognizing, understanding and investigating hate crimes, organized by the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) and the Association of European Police Colleges (AEPC) from 10 to 12 April 2013.
The instruction was provided at the AEPC training faculty in France as part of ODIHR’s Training against Hate Crime for Law Enforcement (TAHCLE) programme, which is one element of the Office's continued assistance to OSCE participating States in their efforts to build the capacity of law enforcement agencies in combating hate crime.
“Hate crimes are often 'symbolic crimes,' and the police are in the best position to send a zero-tolerance message against these acts”, said Floriane Hohenberg, the Head of ODIHR’s Tolerance and Non-Discrimination Department. […]
The social fallout from the ongoing global economic crisis must not become an excuse to allow racism and prejudice to go unchecked, said Morten Kjaerum, Director of the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA), Ambassador Janez Lenarčič, Director of the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR), and Eva Smith Asmussen, Chair of the Council of Europe's European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI), in a joint statement to mark the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.
Racism and discrimination have continued and in some places even increased, despite numerous national laws and international treaties prohibiting them. These include the International Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Racial Discrimination, the European Convention on Human Rights, the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, and the EU’s Framework Decision on Racism and Xenophobia, as well as a large body of commitments made by OSCE participating states. […]
The skills and talents of members of minorities in our societies – whether they are citizens of the countries in which they live or more recent migrants – need to be acknowledged, and furthermore to be better utilised. A proactive approach that appreciates diversity while furthering integration would help to reduce racial discrimination and increase security, as well as helping to boost growth. […]
Civil society representatives from Austria, Germany and Switzerland gained insight into effective methods for monitoring and responding to incidents of hate crimes against Muslims, at a workshop organized by the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) and the non-governmental organization ReachOut in Berlin on 24 and 25 November 2012.
Thirty participants took part in the workshop, which focused on how to better identify hate crimes against Muslims and on the positive role civil society can play in responding to and combating these crimes. “Hate crimes against Muslims are under-reported and under-recorded across the OSCE region, as indicated in ODIHR’s latest annual report on hate crimes,” said Taskin Tankut Soykan, the ODIHR Adviser on Combating Intolerance and Discrimination against Muslims. “Non-governmental organizations should work closely with affected communities to raise awareness of hate crimes against Muslims.” […]
OSCE High Commissioner on National Minorities (HCNM) Knut Vollebaek visited Moldova from 19 to 21 November 2012, where he presented his recently launched Ljubljana Guidelines on Integration of Diverse Societies and discussed co-operation with the Government to develop a comprehensive integration strategy.
Vollebaek also went to Bender to visit the lyceum “Alexandru Cel Bun”, one of the Latin-script schools in Transdniestria. The High Commissioner has been concerned about the situation of these schools for many years and has urged all sides to find pragmatic solutions that would allow these schools to operate normally, pending a final settlement of the Transdniestrian conflict. Together with Ambassador Jennifer Brush, the Head of the OSCE Mission to Moldova, Ambassador Vollebaek presented to the Moldovan Government and the de facto Transdniestrian authorities the conclusions and recommendations of an OSCE assessment of the situation of the schools. He stressed his hope that this assessment might serve to facilitate an agreement on this issue at the 5+2 negotiations in Dublin in late November. […]