Hanna is five years old. She drew this picture of the happy family she wishes for. Her mother named her Hanna but her name is nowhere officially recognised; to the German authorities, she is a nameless child. She was born [...]
The European Union is set to open a dark chapter in its history unless it rejects the European Commission’s proposal on migration, a coalition of more than 100 NGOs warned on Monday. Shifting towards a foreign policy that serves the [...]
Suggested Amendments to the Proposal for an EU Regulation on the European Border and Coast Guard to strengthen compliance with fundamental rights
Platform for International Cooperation on Undocumented Migrants (PICUM), in which Pro Igual participates, suggests the attached amendments to the proposal for a Regulation on the European Border and Coast Guard in order to strengthen compliance with fundamental rights in the proposal. PICUM [...]
We are pleased and proud to inform that after over two+ years of relentless advocacy by Pro Igual´s team, the Valencia police signed a formal agreement with the OSCE to start police training on hate crimes within the TACHLE program. [...]
Pro Igual continues its initiative to survey individual experiences with hate crime in Spain. If you were a victim or witness of a hate crime, or know someone who was, please help us raise awareness of the true scope of the phenomenon [...]
Following a revision of the European Action Days during the European Campaign Conference, the first European Action Week will take place exactly one year after the No Hate Speech Movement, in which Pro Igual participates, has been launched by the Secretary General. The Action Week deals with the underlying themes of the campaign: racism and discrimination which are the fuel for hate speech, or for which hate speech acts as a form of expression.
Aim and Objectives:
- To promote and request member states to sign the Additional Protocol to the Budapest Convention within the Council of Europe,
- To promote the general recommendations on hate speech of United Nations
- To develop and run awareness raising activities in the member states targeting both policy makers on the need to take action against racism and discrimination, with a particular focus on hate speech role in fueling and promoting the racist ideologies, to have their public commitment on standing against racism
- To map and raise awareness over the current situation concerning racism in Europe
- To raise awareness and educate young people on how to counter racism and discrimination
- To fight against stereotypes and pre-conceived ideas, as well as to de-construct myths created around the discriminated groups at European level
- To celebrate one year of the campaign by giving visibility to the results and achievements of the campaign and give an overview and visibility for the plans at European and national levels for 2014.
1. The Movement (with the help of its activists) is collecting facts about racism, discrimination in Europe and sharing them in an Online Quiz.
2. The Movement is inviting national campaign committees and their partners to share examples of posters to make people think and challenge the attitudes in relation to racism and discrimination. We are organising a European on-line exhibition of all the collected posters.
3. The Movement is producing testimonies (videos and interviews) with young people about their own story and will share them online to make people reflect and introduce change about discrimination. These will be shared on the Facebook Page of the Movement and here on this website.
4. The Movement is encouraging its activists, partners and national committees to write articles in relation to racism and discrimination (stories, good practices, projects, opinions…etc.). These will be shared on the No Hate Speech Movement Blog during the Action Week.
5. The Movement will distribute an Infographic of the Achievements of the fist year of the campaign.
6. The Movement is inviting all its followers to report online hate speech content related to racism and discrimination on the Hate Speech Watch. The online activists will organise online actions about a number of selected reports.
7. The Movement is preparing (with the help of its activists and national campaign coordinators) an online MAP presenting relevant information about racism and discrimination in Europe.
8. The Movement is also inviting people to create their own image and videos about racism and discrimination to express their views and challenge others and upload it on the No Hate Speech Movement website.
Original link: http://blog.nohatespeechmovement.org/european-action-week-against-racism-and-discrimination/
Campaign No Hate, in which Pro Igual participates, supports the creation of the Council of Victims Against Hate Crimes and Discrimination (the Spanish abbreviation COVIDAD).
The Council´s objectives are: promoting democratic values, sensibilization and civic participation; encouraging solidarity with victims and their legal, social, political and institutional protection; defending the memory of victims of hate crimes; calling for official action to erradicate prejudices, and working towards reaching the implementation of international standards in this field.
The Council could be reached at this email address: covidodATgmail.com
The original link is available (in Spanish) here.
Take part in the online debate hosted by the European Voice:
How should the EU react to the rise of the far right?
Pro Igual´s position is unequivocal: isolate the extreme right.
Original link: http://debates.europeanvoice.com/european-politics-rise-far-right-engage-or-isolate/opening-phase
Pro Igual continues the initiative, launched last year, to survey individual experiences with hate crime in Spain. If you were a victim or witness of a hate crime, or know someone who was, please help us raise awareness of the true scope of the phenomenon by taking part in our online survey on hate crimes in Spain, and sharing the link among your contacts and networks. The 2014 survey is available in Spanish and English. All responses are strictly confidential. Thank you for your help!
Hate crimes against ethnic minorities and undocumented foreigners have been one of the main issues of concern in Spain of the past decade. PRO IGUAL has developed the following set of recommendations to the police on detection and prevention of hate crimes in Spain. It is our hope that these recommendations may also be relevant for other countries facing similar problems as Spain.
1. Set up a hate crimes hotline.
There should be a national FREE hotline for hate crimes victims, similar to the hotline number for victims of gender violence in Spain (016). Alternatively, regional or local hotlines can be considered.
2. Do not ask victims for ID.
Some hate crimes victims are targeted because they are not, or perceived not to be, natives in that country. Some of the victims may be in an irregular administrative situation, punishable by law in Spain. For meaningful protection against hate crimes, it is important that such victims are not penalised even if they do not have appropriate documentation. International best practices of state support for victims of human trafficking may provide inspiration.
3. Have victim info readily available.
Ideally, hate crime victims should be aware of the protection mechanisms even before walking into the police station, via public information campaign. In each police station, there should be a visible poster with steps to take in case of hate-related attack and victim´s rights and/or brochures that victims can take with them.
4. Have a non-uniformed contact point.
The police uniform may have a deterrent effect on the victim. Each police station should have a non-uniformed staff member available to interview the victim and take their testimony, or be ready to have one of the officers to change out of uniform to that end.
5. Speak their language.
Some victims may not be fluent in the language. If there is nobody accompanying the victim or able to translate, it would be desirable to have a list/shared database of interpreters available for this task. If physical presence of the interpreter is impossible, at least telephone translation should be arranged.
6. Cooperate with medics.
Some victims of violent hate crime may not go police but to doctors instead. The local police should establish cooperation with local hospitals and health professionals so that the latter are able to detect hate crimes and are in a position to advise victims about how to report such crimes.
7. Public must know.
It is essential to inform not only victims but also general public, who should be aware about the phenomenon of hate crimes and the methods to report it. General public may be an additional resource for reporting such crimes and assisting the victims. Posters, TV and radio ads, and other publicity material must be developed to appeal to the public.
8. NGOs are partners.
Civil society organisations working in the field of monitoring hate crimes and/or victim assistance are an invaluable resource for the police providing an effective and cost-efficient resource in detecting, prosecuting and preventing hate crimes. Responsible police authorities should make every effort to contact and seek cooperation of such organisations.
9. An ounce of prevention.
Prevention of hate crimes by researching and targeting potential perpetrators can save many human and material resources entailed in subsequent prosecuting of hate crimes, repairing material damages and caring for victims. Some of the police resources currently used for preventing terrorism and/or ordinary crime (and often misused for racial profiling) should be re-directed for detecting and preventing hate crimes, specifically by conducting reconnaissance among known extremist right-wing and other hate groups.
10. Reach out to other hate crime victims.
When all the essential steps are taken to assist the victim of the case in hand, invite them to share support information with others, who may be in a similar distress but afraid to report hate crimes. Similarly to the electronic reporting mechanism for other crimes, the online resource for reporting hate crimes should be established and publicised.
Monitoring and documenting hate crimes is one of Pro Igual´s core projects. We realize that many victims do not report hate crimes because they fear repercussions, or because they think nobody would believe them. As a result, an estimated 95% of such crimes remain unreported. And the Spanish State has no incentive to address this problem. If you were a victim or witness of a hate crime, please help us raise awareness of the true scope of the phenomenon by taking part in our online survey on hate crimes in Spain in 2013 available in Spanish and English. All responses are strictly confidential.
Pro Igual´s Intervention at the OSCE Human Dimension Implementation Meeting, Working Session 3: Violence Against Women
The following are the summary and recommendations of the joint report by Spanish NGOs Pro Igual and Ferrocarril Clandestino on the situation of migrant women in Spanish Detention Centers for Foreigners. The full report is available here.
Detention Centers for Foreigners are prisons in all but a name. Both governmental institutions and civil society have decried the appalling conditions and violations of human rights there. What is important to note is that detainees have not committed any crime, but merely an administrative infraction of not having papers in order, which presents less danger for the public than incorrect parking.
While both men and women face violations of their human rights, female detainees face a number of specific concerns. These include: sexual harassment by the guards; ill-treatment of pregnant and breastfeeding women; separation of mothers from minor children; lack of access to general medical and gynecological care, and lack of adequate nutrition even for pregnant women. Victims of human trafficking get no support whatsoever, even though they may be eligible for residence on humanitarian grounds.
Many migrant women end up in detention centers because of police raids based on the controversial practice of ethnic profiling, condemned by a number of international human rights bodies.
On the basis of these findings, we would like to recommend to the Spanish authorities the following:
- Human rights NGOs and monitors should be allowed to enter detention centers and privately interview inmates – this is often sabotaged by the centers´ directors.
- All personnel of the detention centers must wear visible identification badges and face sanctions for failure to comply.
- All allegations of ill-treatment, especially sexual abuse of female inmates, by the guards must be investigated and prosecuted.
- All inmates should have access to independent legal counsel, and translation if necessary.
- The authorities should declare a temporary moratorium on expulsions of migrant women, pending the review of their cases.
- Women detainees in particular should have gender-sensitive healthcare and adequate nutrition.
- Pregnant and breastfeeding women should under no circumstances be detained or separated from their children and families.
- Suspected victims of human trafficking should receive necessary legal, medical and other assistance.
- The authorities should decisively end ethnic profiling practices by the police.
Pro Igual´s Intervention at the OSCE Human Dimension Implementation Meeting, Working Session 2: Tolerance and Nondiscrimination
In the course of 2012 and 2013, PRO IGUAL conducted monitoring of hate crimes committed by Spanish extreme right elements against immigrants, minorities, and other vulnerable groups. The aim of the project has been, besides documenting individual cases, to explore the origins, specifics and the reach of the extreme right.
The project highlighted certain weaknesses in the Spanish legal and policy frameworks. Spanish legislation, on the one hand, allows proliferation of parties and organizations propagating intolerance. But on the other hand, it fails to provide adequate recourse for victims. In addition, victims often either do not know how to complain or are afraid. This serves to create a climate of denial and impunity for hate crimes.
PRO IGUAL reports and other materials on the subject are available on the website. In the meantime, we would like to make the following conclusions and recommendations relevant for a number of countries in the OSCE region.
- The Governments must recognize the reality and the danger of the extreme right ascent to power, and not dismiss the right-wing extremism as fringe behavior of a handful of marginalized youths.
- It is also important to recognize that the extreme right has received a Public Relations makeover. We are no longer dealing with just crude manifestations, such as shaven heads or military boots. The contemporary extreme right is an increasingly sophisticated and insidious ideology that masks hate as care and violence as freedom, and actively uses democratic means to attain undemocratic ends.
- Appeasement does not work. Some of the mainstream parties tried to woo the extreme right voters by embracing xenophobia. But they will never be radical enough for the extreme rights, but will instead lose their core supporters alongside with integrity.
- Economic crisis and corruption must be addressed urgently, as they feed into the extreme right´s popularity. Ineptitude in handling the economic crisis, lack of transparency and seemingly endemic corruption turn the mainstream, moderate voters away from the established parties into the grip of the extreme right.
- Laws must protect the victims of right-wing extremism, not provide loopholes and excuses for perpetrators.
- It is not enough to be reactive; it is essential to become pro-active. This means the alarm must be raised BEFORE the extreme right ascend to power. Otherwise, with each new victory of the extreme right, there will be fewer countries even left to condemn it.
- Last but not least, the Governments should work treat civil society as an ally, and not as a nuisance, as presently civil society is the only force resisting the rise of the extreme right to power.