The Council of Europe’s Roma and Travellers Team announces the publication of the Toolkit for Police Officers which focuses on Council of Europe standards on racially motivated crimes and non-discrimination of Roma and Travellers. Relevant case-law of the European Court of Human Rights is also included, with the aim of supporting police officers to better understand, investigate and prosecute human rights violations. Roma and Traveller communities suffer from widespread and persisting discrimination and anti-Gypsyism – recognised as a specific form of racism fuelled by prejudice and stereotypes – and they are the victims of various other forms of discrimination, including harassment, hate speech and hate crimes in many Council of Europe member states.
Police officers are at the forefront of the justice system, as they are among the first to come in contact with the victims of hate speech, harassment, racially motivated crimes and other forms of human rights violations and therefore they are pivotal to Roma and Traveller communities securing adequate and rightful access to justice.
All police officers, from the lowest to the highest rank, are expected to be fully informed of the latest developments in human rights practice and standards and apply them in their everyday work, a truly demanding task even for human rights professionals.
The Toolkit was developed by two human rights lawyers, in close collaboration with a serving police officer and with the support of the Roma and Travellers Team of the Council of Europe.
Finally, the Toolkit can be used as an awareness raising and educational tool as it includes proposals for training events and information sessions with/for police officers, and other law enforcement officials.
Download the publication here.