In the aftermath of the killing of George Floyd by a police officer in the USA, large and durable protests against racially motivated discrimination, violence and police brutality have flared up across the globe. These protests have raised awareness among minorities and majorities alike of the scale of these phenomena, which are incompatible with the human rights values of the Council of Europe and have created a sense of urgency to act.
The Council of Europe addressed the challenge of systemic racism already in 1993 at its Vienna Summit, by creating a unique mechanism for independent monitoring of its member states – the European Commission Against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI). With its normative and country-monitoring work, ECRI has advanced the adoption of legislative and structural measures with a systemic impact throughout Europe, including comprehensive anti-discrimination laws and strong equality bodies.
On 7 July, the Anti-Discrimination Department held a webinar ‘From challenges to solutions: instruments and tools to fight systemic racism’ which was also live streamed on Facebook.
The expert panel explored successful strategies and inspiring actions to address systemic and institutional racism and examined the effectiveness of Council of Europe tools and actions. The speakers emphasised the need to further strengthen their application in member states and welcomed the recent ECRI statement against racial profiling in policing and calling for a systemic response to address racism in all areas.
The panel also underlined the importance of education to combat deeply engrained racism and that training of police is key for them to become part of the solution.
Maria Daniela MAROUDA, Chair of the Council of Europe's European Commision against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI)
Assistant Professor of International Law, International Humanitarian Law, Jean Monnet Chair on EU Solidarity Civil Protection and Humanitarian Action (July 2016), Panteion University of Social and Political Studies, Athens.
Member of the Comité pour le Concours Jean Pictet (www.concourspictet.org), since 2003. Alternate Director, European Training and Research Centre on Human Rights and Humanitarian Action, Panteion University of Social and Political Studies, since 2000.
Consultant on International Humanitarian Law, Hellenic Red Cross, since 2000. Professor of International Law, National Defence School and the Police National Security Academy.
Numerous publications on state responsibility for serious violations of international law; war crimes; crimes against humanity and genocide, as well as on humanitarian law and action; human rights and refugee and migration protection (for more information see https://panteion.academia.edu/DaniellaMarouda).
Jeroen SCHOKKENBROEK, Director of the Anti-Discrimination, Council of Europe
Mr Schokkenbroek studied law at the University of Leiden (The Netherlands) where he lectured in Constitutional and Administrative Law until 1993. Since 1993, he has held various functions in the Council of Europe Secretariat, mostly in the field of Human Rights, including Special Representative of the Secretary General for Roma Issues and Executive Secretary of the Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT).
Since June 2018, Mr Schokkenbroek is Director of Anti-Discrimination in the Directorate General of Democracy of the Council of Europe.
Karen TAYLOR, Chair of the European Network Against Racism (ENAR)
Karen Taylor is the Chair of ENAR (European Network against racism). ENAR is the only pan-European network combining racial equality advocacy with building a strong network of anti-racist organisations across Europe.
At EOTO (Each One Teach One e.V.) a Black led community organization for empowerment of People of African Descent in Germany Karen is the director of policy and advocacy at EOTO. Karen is equally working as a policy advisor at the German Bundestag where she concentrates on anti-discrimination policies in Germany as well as on human rights issues in West Africa.
Throughout Karen’s professional carrier and voluntary work, it has always been her goal to fight racial discrimination and to provide equal access to political decision-making processes for the most marginalized groups in Germany.
As former Chair of the committee for migration and diversity of the Social Democratic Party (SPD) Berlin Karen promoted the concept of intersectionality and inclusion within the party and the government of Berlin. She was the first Black woman to hold this position.
Karen is an Alumnae of the Transatlantic Inclusion Leaders Network (TILN) organized by the German Marshall Found (GMF).
Margareta MATACHE, Instructor and Director of the Roma Programme, Harvard University
Dr Margareta (Magda) Matache is a justice activist and scholar from Romania, Director of the FXB Center for Health and Human Rights’ Roma Programme, and a Harvard instructor. From 2005 to 2012, Dr. Matache was the Executive Director of Romani CRISS, a leading Roma rights organization that defends the rights of Roma. In 2012, she was awarded a Hauser postdoctoral fellowship at the FXB Center, where she founded the University’s first and only Roma Program.
In 2017, with Jacqueline Bhabha and Andrzej Mirga, she co-edited Realizing Roma Rights, an investigation of anti-Roma racism in Europe. Also, along with Jacqueline Bhabha, Caroline Elkins, and Walter Johnson, Dr. Matache is the co-editor of Time for reparation? Addressing state responsibility for collective injustice, a forthcoming volume exploring the issue of reparations across a broad range of historical and geographic contexts and academic disciplines.
She completed her Master’s in Public Administration from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, and her doctoral degree in Political Sciences from the Faculty of Political Sciences at the University of Bucharest.
She has a longstanding cooperation with the Council of Europe, either as an expert on Roma related topics or speaker/rapporteur in international events.
Domenica GHIDEI BIIDU, Vice-Chair of the European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI)
Ms Domenica Ghidei Biidu is a human rights lawyer and an independent strategic adviser on equity, inclusiveness and diversity. Currently member of the European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI), in respect of the Netherlands and the Vice-chair of ECRI.
Ms Ghidei Biidu has been a Human Rights Commissioner at the Netherlands Institute for Human Rights and its predecessor, the Equal Treatment Commission, for 12 years. For the past 35 years, she has been working as trainer, consultant, coach and keynote speaker in the areas of transcultural and inclusive leadership; diversity management; equal treatment and anti-discrimination on the grounds of gender, race, LGBTI+, handicap and chronic illness from an intersectional perspective.
David MARTÍN ABÁNADES, Local Police Inspector, Fuenlabrada Police Service, Spain
David MARTÍN ABÁNADES, Local Police Inspector, Fuenlabrada Police Service (Spain). He graduated in Law from Universidad Nacional de Educación a Distancia (UNED) and holds a Master Degree in Human Rights, Democracy and Globalization at the Universitart Oberta de Catalunya (UOC), during which he researched and wrote about “Police stops and discriminatory police records. State of the matter in Spain”.
He joined the Local Police of Fuenlabrada in 1996 and since 2007 he is working on issues related to security and social diversity, discrimination and improvement of relations between police and minority groups, contributing to the setting-up in 2008 of the first Diversity Management Team within a Spanish Police. In 2016-2018 he has been in charge of setting up the Diversity Management Unit of the Madrid Municipal Police. He has also participated in the drafting of the Municipal Police Master Plan of Madrid, then abandoned following a change in local leadership.
He has collaborated as a police expert with the OSCE (Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe), the Council of Europe and the United Nations, on hate crime, racial / ethnic bias in police ID checks, protection of Human Rights and improvement of relations between police and vulnerable social groups.
Momodou Malcolm JALLOW, Member of Swedish Parliament, General Rapporteur on combating racism and intolerance for the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe
Momodou Malcolm Jallow is a member of the Swedish delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe and the Assembly's General Rapporteur for combating racism and intolerance in Europe.
He previously served as a city councilor in the city of Malmö and as vice chair of the European Network Against Racism (ENAR). Mr Jallow is the founder and chair of the Pan African Movement for Justice (PMJ), an NGO advocating for the promotion of non-discrimination and protection of Human and fundamental rights with specific focus on the rights of people of African descent. He was awarded by the civil rights leader Reverend Jesse Jackson with the 2018 Global Leadership Award for his tireless efforts and outstanding leadership in advocating for a Just and diverse global society.
As the former Chair of the ENAR steering group on people of African descent in Europe, he tirelessly advocated for an EU framework strategy on people of African descent and black Europeans. Mr Jallow has also been awarded the prestigious 2016 Community Healer award for his outstanding contributions to the struggle for human right Europeans of African ancestry.
“…effectively countering racism, xenophobia, antisemitism and intolerance requires a sustained and comprehensive approach reflected in a broad range of measures which complement and reinforce one another, covering all aspects of life…"
European Commission against Racism and Intolernace, General Policy Recommendation on Combatting Racism, Xenophobia, Anti-Semitism and Intolerance, 1996
- Steering Committee on Anti-Discrimination, Diversity and Inclusion
- Committee of Experts on Combating Hate Speech within Human Rights Framework
- European Commission against Racism and Intolerance
- Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities
- European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages
- Roma and Travellers Team
- Intercultural cities programme
- Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity