On 21 and 24 June 2019, Greece will host two Council of Europe-led trainings on anti-discrimination and hate crime against LGBTI persons. As a result of the joint organisation of the SOGI Unit and the Human Rights Education for Legal Professionals (HELP) Unit, two trainings will be delivered to Greek police officers, judges and prosecutors in Thessaloniki (21 June) and Athens (24 June). The trainings were organised in collaboration with the National School of Judges and the Hellenic Police School of Education and Training.
This capacity-building exercise comes at a time of need, since the prevalence of hate-motivated violence against LGBTI persons is preoccupying. In a survey conducted with LGBT respondents in 2012, the EU Fundamental Rights Agency assessed that one in every four respondents (26%) had experienced violence in the last five years, while one in every ten had experienced it in the preceding 12 months. The data additionally showed that fewer than one in five of the most recent incidents in the last 12 months were reported to police. Among the 28 EU countries, the lowest rate of reporting was in Greece (only 6% of surveyed victims reported incidents). Under-reporting constitutes one of the main challenges of investigating and sanctioning perpetrators of hate crime.
The trainings will address this need by providing comprehensive knowledge on European standards. The first part, delivered by the HELP Unit, will focus on the HELP course “Fight against racism, xenophobia, homophobia and transphobia”. Narrowing down on four modules (key concepts, legal framework, racism and xenophobia and homophobia and transphobia), it will address the application of European non-discrimination law as set by the Court of Justice of the EU and the European Court of Human Rights. The training will be delivered by Petros Alikakos (Judge / National Trainer for the HELP Programme) and Kim-Andreas Larsen (Council of Europe).
The second part of the training will focus on the SOGI manual “Policing Hate Crime against LGBTI Persons: Training for a Professional Police Response”, designed to develop the necessary skills to appropriately identify and investigate hate crime against LGBTI persons. The training will be delivered by Michael Lolis (trainer / police officer in Athens) and Asimina Gkontolia (trainer / police officer in Thessaloniki).
The seminars will bring together a total of 40 police officers and 20 judges / prosecutors in Greece.