Fundamental Rights Conference 2013

The focus of this year’s Fundamental Rights Conference is combating hate crime in the European Union.

Key speakers

Europe’s socio-economic crisis has proved fertile ground for prejudice and, in some cases, violence against the most vulnerable groups of our society, such as Roma, migrants, and ethnic and religious minorities. Evidence collected by the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) and other organisations shows that hate crime is a daily reality throughout the EU. Motivated by racism, xenophobia, religious intolerance or by bias against a person’s disability, sexual orientation or gender identity, such crimes harm not only those targeted but entire communities. They thus strike at the heart of EU’s commitments to democracy and the fundamental rights of equality and non-discrimination.

The Fundamental Rights Conference will invite over 300 decision makers and practitioners from across the EU to explore effective strategies to combat hate crime through legal and policy measures at the national as well as EU level.

Interviews conducted with victims of hate crime during the conference

The Fundamental Rights Conference (FRC) is a high level annual event, organised by the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA). This year’s conference will focus on the issue of ‘Combating hate crime in the EU’ and will be hosted in cooperation with the Lithuanian Presidency of the Council of the EU.

The conference will aim to:

  1. To develop concrete proposals for follow-up on FRA’s opinions pertaining to hate crime, as formulated in its reports on the subject;
  2. To explore practical solutions for victim support services tailored to specific situation and needs of the victims of hate crime;
  3. To stimulate debate on hate crime and exchange ideas and practices on how to combat it on an EU as well as Member State levels;
  4. To pool evidence and expertise of a variety of stakeholders in view of the foreseen review of Council Framework Decision 2008/913/JHA of 28 November 2008 on combating certain forms and expressions of racism and xenophobia by means of criminal law;
  5. To enhance cooperation between stakeholders at different levels to counter hate crime more effectively.

 

About

About FRC 2013

Violence and crimes motivated by racism, xenophobia, religious intolerance or by a person’s disability, sexual orientation, gender identity and other biases – often referred to as ‘hate crime’ – are a daily reality throughout the EU, as data collected by FRA and other actors consistently show.

Hate crime harms not only those targeted. It also sends a signal to other persons who feel that they are at risk of being labelled and treated like the victim. Moreover, the bias motivated offence, when understood as a statement about persons who (are thought to) bear a certain characteristic, has the potential to incite followers. The impact of hate crime thus reaches far beyond the immediate interaction between offender and victim.

As such hate crimes call into question the basic concept and self-understanding of modern pluralist societies, which is based on the notion of individual human dignity. Hence, it strikes at the heart of EU commitments to democracy and the fundamental rights of equality and non-discrimination.

However, victims of crimes motivated by bias and prejudice are often unable or unwilling to seek redress against perpetrators. Many of these crimes remain unreported, unprosecuted and, therefore, invisible. In such cases, the rights of victims of crime may not be fully respected or protected and Member States may not be upholding obligations they have towards victims of crime.

The Fundamental Rights Conference will therefore invite decision makers and practitioners to explore effective strategies to combat crimes motivated by hatred and prejudice at the national as well as EU level. Discussions will address the most pertinent issues relevant for policy making in the field, among them:

  • Existing evidence on the extent of hate crime;
  • Underreporting of crimes motivated by hatred and prejudice;
  • Gaps in hate crime monitoring and recording;
  • Legal instruments pertaining to hate crime in the EU;
  • Victim support services;
  • Effective practices of investigation and prosecution;
  • Discriminatory aspects of hate crime;
  • Human rights education and remembrance;
  • Capacity building for law enforcement and criminal justice systems;
  • Challenges of cyberhate;

… and other issues.

 

Existing legal and policy measures

Conference discussions will take place in the context of current legal and policy framework to combat crimes motivated by hatred and prejudice in the EU. Discussions will place particular focus on the implementation of the Council Framework Decision 2008/913/JHA on combating certain forms and expressions of racism and xenophobia by means of criminal law aiming to inform the revision of this decision foreseen for the end of 2013; as well as recently adopted EU Victims’ Directive (2012/29/EU), establishing minimum standards on the rights, support and protecting of victims of crime.

 

Programme

Programme FRC 2013

Monday 11 November

Time Description

14.00 –

19:30

Arrival and registration

19:30

Welcome reception

Hosted by the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA)

(Hotel Crowne Plaza Vilnius, M.k. Čiurlionio str. 84)

Tuesday 12 November

Time Description
08.30 – 09:30

Registration

Conference moderators:
                Friso Roscam Abbing, Head of Communication Department, FRA
                Saira Khan, TV presenter and host

09:30 – 10:00

Welcome

Juozas Bernatonis, Minister of Justice, Lithuania

Morten Kjaerum, Director, FRA

10:00 - 10:30

Keynote addresses

Cecilia Malmström,  European Commissioner for Home Affairs

10:30 – 11:00

Coffee break

11:00 – 12:30

Panel debate

Crimes motivated by hatred and prejudice - where are we today?

High level panel debate with policy makers and experts

Panellists:

   László Surján, Vice President, European Parliament

   Alan Shatter TD, Minister for Justice and Equality, Ireland

   Snežana Samardžić-Marković, Director General for Democracy, Council of Europe

   Ambassador Janez Lenarčič, Director of the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights

 

Focus:

  • What is the nature of hate crime? What is the situation on the ground?
  • What are the most pressing legal as well as practical challenges to combat hate crime effectively?
12:30 - 14:00

Lunch

14:00 – 15:15

Reflections in the plenary

Different faces of hate crime

Panel debate with organisations representing victims of hate crime

Focus:

  • How does hate crime look in reality? What are the experiences of those affected?
  • What impact does it have on targeted communities and the society as a whole?
15:30 - 17:30

Working groups

  • Working group I: Making hate crime visible: strategies to build trust and encourage reporting

Chair: Christos Giakoumopoulos, Director for Human Rights, Council of Europe

Focus:

  • How can the trust of victims and witnesses in law enforcement authorities and criminal justice system be increased?
  • Which reporting mechanisms have proven to be most effective and why? What lessons can be learned from experiences in EU Member States?
  • How does cooperation between law enforcement agencies, the criminal justice system and non-governmental organisations work in practice?
  • How can monitoring of hate crime by civil society organisations and other actors be put to better use to make hate crime visible?

 

  • Working group II: Challenges of cyberhate

Chair: Marnix Auman, Head of Cyber Intelligence, European Cybercrime Centre, EUROPOL – European Police Office

Focus:

  • What legal instruments, policies and measures are in place at Member State and EU level to address cyberhate?
  • What is the role of different actors tackling cyberhate?
  • What practical measures could be implemented by governments, internet providers, civil society organisations and citizens?

 

  • Working group III: Legal instruments pertaining to hate crime in the EU

Chair: Salla Saastamoinen, Head of Unit Fundamental rights and rights of the child, DG Justice, European Commission

Focus:

  • What legal instruments are available to EU Member States to address hate crime at the EU and international levels?
  • How robust is the existing legislative framework? What steps could be taken to improve the situation?
  • What is the impact/direction of recent jurisprudence of ECHR as well as the CJEU?

 

  • Working group IV: Assistance for victims of hate crime

Chair: Paul Iganski, Professor of Criminology & Criminal Justice, Lancaster University Law School, United Kingdom

Focus:

  • What are the needs of victims of hate crime?
  • What assistance schemes are most effective – public services, non-governmental organisations, generic or specialist victim support services, or a mixture of systems?
  • How does the legal system guarantee effective redress for victims of hate crime?

 

  • Working group V: Ensuring effective investigation and prosecution

Chair: Alinde Verhaag, Head of Case Analysis Unit, EUROJUST

Focus :

  • Recognising hate crime and uncovering the motive
  • Facilitating cross-national exchange of promising practices in relation to effective investigation and prosecution of hate crimes:
  • Protecting hate crime victims in the course of investigation and prosecution against secondary or repeat victimisation, intimidation and retaliation
19:30

Evening reception at the National Museum Palace of the Grand Dukes of Lithuania 

Hosted by the Lithuanian Presidency of the Council of the EU

Opening by Jouzas Bernatonis, Minister of Justice, Lithuania

Welcome address by Remigijus Motuzas, Deputy Chancellor, Office of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania

Wednesday  13 November

Time Description
09:00 – 10:30

Panel debate

Effectively responding to hate crime - from legislation to practice

Panel debate and plenary discussion with policy makers and practicioners

Focus

  • How are legal obligations with regard to hate crime implemented in practice?
  • What will the Victims Directive mean for victims of hate crime?
  • The Framework Decision on Racism and Xenophobia: how well has it worked so far?
  • Should subsequent legislation cover the same areas or be broadened?
  • What are the advantages and risks of more encompassing legislation in this area?
10:30 – 11:00

Coffee break

11:00 - 13:00

Working groups

  • Working group I: Recording and monitoring hate crime: strategies to improve official data collection mechanism

Chair: Floriane Hohenberg, Head of Tolerance and Non-Discrimination Department, OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR)

Focus :

  • What mechanisms of data collection are currently in place and how can they be improved?
  • What are the current gaps in data collection? What can we learn from existing promising practices in EU Member States?
  • Uncovering the dark figure of hate crime – what is the role of crime victimisation surveys?

 

  • Working group II: Reflecting remembrance in human rights education and training

Chair: Pavel Tychtl, DG Communication, European Commission

Focus:

  • How can remembering the past contribute to understanding the present?
  • How can we best reflect remembrance of common European history in human rights education and training programmes?
  • What promising practices are there in this field?

 

  • Working group III: Vigilance and awareness: capacity building for law enforcement and criminal justice systems

Chair: Aija Kalnaja, Head of Training Unit, CEPOL - European Police College

Focus:

  • What are the effective ways to build capacity for law enforcement and criminal justice systems?
  • In what way should the specificity of hate crime be reflected in curricula for law enforcement agents and those involved in the criminal justice system?
  • What type of training on the issue is currently available in EU Member States? What could/should be improved?

 

  • Working group IV: Connecting the dots – discrimination as a trigger for hate crime

Chair: Karen Jochelson, Director of Economy and Employment Programme, Equality and Human Rights Commission, United Kingdom

Focus:

  • What are the discriminatory aspects of hate crime?
  • How can equality and non-discrimination education help prevent/fight discriminatory crime?
  • What are effective strategies to raise awareness about the detrimental effects of discrimination?

 

  • Working group V: Gross trivialisation: negating crimes of the past

Chair: Françoise Tulkens, former Vice-President of the European Court of Human Rights

Focus:

  • What is the discriminatory aspect of revisionism/negationism, as defined in the Art 1.1 of the Framework Decision on Racism and Xenophobia?
  • Why is it important for revisionism/negationism to be criminalised?
  • How can we best acknowledge the rights of victims of crimes of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes?

 

13:00-13:30

Closing remarks

Vytautas Leškevičius, Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs, Lithuanian Presidency of the Council of the EU

Manfred Nowak, Vice-Chairperson of the Management Board, FRA

 

13:30-15:00 Lunch
Downloads: 

FRC 2013 draft programme

[pdf]en fr lt (210.04 KB)

frc-2013-brochure

[pdf]en (1.44 MB)
Speakers

Speakers FRC 2013

(In order of appearance)

Juozas Bernatonis
Juozas Bernatonis  is the Minister of Justice of the Republic of Lithuania. Mr Bernatonis is a member of the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania and was elected by the list of the Lithuanian Social Democratic Party to his current position in 2012. He serves as a member on the Committee on Legal Affairs. Prior to his current position, he was the Ambassador of the Republic of Lithuania to the Republic of Estonia (2006 to 2012); Advisor of International Affairs to Prime Minister Algirdas Brazauskas and chief adviser to Prime Minister Gediminas Kirkilas (2004 to 2006); and Minister of Interior (2001 to 2003).
Opening speech by Minister Bernatonis.
Morten Kjaerum
Morten Kjaerum has served as Director of the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights since June 2008. Before joining the FRA, Mr Kjaerum served as the founding Director of the Danish Institute for Human Rights. Over 17 years in top executive roles, Mr Kjaerum built the Institute, Denmark’s national human rights institution, into an internationally recognised institution. An expert in human rights implementation, Mr Kjaerum has been a member of the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination and the President of the International Coordination Committee for National Human Rights Institutions, a network coordinating relations between the United Nations and national institutions. Mr Kaerum has written extensively on issues relating to human rights, in particular on refugee law, the prohibition against racial discrimination, and the role of national human rights institutions.
Opening speech by Morten Kjaerum
Cecilia Malmström
Cecilia Malmström  is the Commissioner of the European Commission in charge of Home Affairs. Her responsibilities include EU work on police cooperation, border control, asylum and migration. Prior to her appointment as a Commissioner, Ms Malmström served as Swedish Minister for European Union Affairs (2006 to 2010). In this capacity she coordinated the preparatory work and the implementation of the Swedish Presidency of the EU. From 1999 to 2006 Ms Malmström was a Member of the European Parliament, where among other duties she was also a Member of the European Parliament Subcommittee on Human Rights. She is a member of the Liberal Party of Sweden and was the Vice-President of the party from 2007 to 2010.
Opening speech by Commissioner Malmström
Laszlo Surjan
László Surján  is Vice President of the European Parliament, where he represents the Hungarian Christian Democratic People's Party (KDNP), part of the Group of the European People's Party (Christian Democrats). He is also Member of the Bureau of the European People's Party (EPP) and is a Member of the European Parliament's Committee on Budget and Committee on Regional Development. He is also member of the Delegation for relations with Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Montenegro and Kosovo and the Intergroup for Traditional National Minorities, Constitutional Regions and Regional Languages and member of the EP Working Group on Freedom of Religion and Belief.
He is also founder of the Charta XXI Movement for Reconciliation in Central-East Europe.
 
 Alan Shatter
Alan Shatter TD  is the Irish Minister for Justice, Equality and Defence, a position has held since March 2011. Alan Shatter has been a TD at the Dáil Eireann since 2007 and previously from 1981 until 2002. Before his appointment as Minister for Justice, Equality and Defence, Mr Shatter, in his capacity as a Fine Gael TD, published a number of bills advocating for radical legal, social and environmental reform. He has also held various positions on the Fine Gael Front Bench including Spokesperson on Justice and Law Reform, Health, Labour, Defence and Children. 
Snežana Samardžić-Marković
Snežana Samardžić-Marković is the Director General for Democracy at the Council of Europe, in charge of the organisation’s action promoting democratic governance and sustainable democratic societies. Her responsibilities include the work of the European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI), work against discrimination and hate speech, including the Council of Europe’s ‘No hate speech campaign’. Previously, Ms Marković has held numerous positions in the Serbian Government including Minister of Youth and Sports (2007-2012) and President of the Fund for Young Talents, Assistant Minister of Defence (2005-2007) and Deputy Director in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs responsible for Neighbouring Countries.
Janez Lenarčič
Ambassador Janez Lenarčič  is the Director of the Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) – the specialised institution of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), dealing with elections, human rights, and democratisation. Prior to this appointment in 2008, he served as Slovenian State Secretary for European Affairs, where he led the working group for the preparation of the Slovenian Presidency of the European Union. He was the Slovenian Ambassador to the OSCE from 2003 to 2006. In 2005, when Slovenia held the OSCE's rotating Chairmanship, he chaired the Permanent Council in Vienna, the Organization's regular political decision making body. He also served as a Diplomatic Advisor in the office of the Slovenian Prime Minister and the Permanent Mission of Slovenia to the United Nations in New York.
Christos Giakoumopoulos
Christos Giakoumopoulos  is Director of Human Rights in the Council of Europe’s Directorate General Human Rights and Rule of Law, a position he has held from 2011. Previously he was Director of Monitoring in the same Directorate General since 2006. Before joining the Directorate General of Human Rights, he was General Counsel and General Director for Legal and Administrative Affairs of the Council of Europe Development Bank (Paris). Since joining the Council of Europe in 1987, he has also held posts in the Registry of the European Court of Human Rights, the Venice Commission and Director in the Office of the Commissioner for Human Rights, A. Gil Robles.
Marnix Auman
Marnix Aumanis the Head of Cyber Intelligence at the European Cybercrime Centre at Europol. His team is responsible for capturing cybercrime information from a wide range of sources and translating that into actionable intelligence for use by different stakeholders. Over the years Mr Auman has run a number of key projects for the Belgian Police and Europol, including drafting Belgium’s Serious and Organised Crime Threat Assessment during his time as Strategic Analysis Coordinator at Federal Police HQ in Brussels; setting up a Command and Control Centre while serving as Europol’s Operational Intelligence Coordinator; and, most recently, implementing an organisation-wide Innovation Programme at Europol. His expertise covers strategic and operational intelligence analysis, data protection and security, information handling, change management and international cooperation.

 Salla Saastamoinen
Salla Saastamoinen is the Head of Unit of Fundamental Rights and Rights of the Child in the Directorate General Justice of the European Commission. The core responsibilities of this unit include ensuring effective implementation of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights, promoting the fight against racism and xenophobia as well as the fight against homophobia. In this capacity, Ms Saastamoinen represents the European Commission in the Management Board of the FRA. Ms Saastamoinen has worked for the European Commission for the for the past 17 years, where she has held several positions, including the Head of Unit Civil Justice Policy
Paul Iganski
Paul Iganski, PhD is a Professor of Criminology and Criminal Justice at the Lancaster University Law School (UK) and was formerly Head of Department of Applied Social Science at Lancaster. For well over a decade, he has specialised on hate crime. He is currently researching the management of hate speech by courts. His books include(2008), Hate Crimes Against London’s Jews(2005 with Vicky Kielinger & Susan Paterson) and the edited volumes Hate Crime: The Consequences of Hate Crime(2009) and (2002). He was principal investigator (with David Smith) for the Equality and Human Rights Commission’s (EHRC) (Scotland) project on the Rehabilitation of Hate Crime Offenders (2011), and principal investigator on projects recently commissioned by the UK Equality and Human Rights Commission to analyse data from the British Crime Survey and the Scottish Crime and Justice Survey on equality groups’ perceptions and experience of harassment and crime. He has also served as the project coordinator of the European Network Against Racism’s Comparative Study on Racist Violence (2010).
Alinde-Verhaag
Alinde Verhaag is the Head of the Case Analysis Unit at Eurojust. She previously worked as an analyst at Eurojust and as a legal researcher at the Dutch National Ombudsman between 2002 and 2006. The mission of the Case Analysis Unit (CA Unit) is to facilitate the judicial cooperation and coordination role of Eurojust by providing operational and case-related analysis. The Unit develops working methodologies for strategic products and monitors operational work to identify both legal obstacles and solutions to judicial cooperation and in Joint Investigation Teams (JITs).
Danutė Jočienė
Danutė Jočienė is the outgoing Lithuanian judge at the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR), where she has served from 2004 to 1 November 2013. At the ECHR she was the Vice-President of Section and Acting President for Rule 39 applications. Prior to becoming a judge at the ECtHR, Ms Jočienė worked for the Lithuanian government at the ECtHR, was a Vice-Dean, lecturer and associate professor at the Law Faculty of Vilnius University, and worked for the Lithuanian government as an expert on European law. She was awarded a doctoral degree in 1999 for her thesis on the application of the European Convention on Human Rights in the Contracting Parties and has published extensively in the field of human rights.
 
Marinos Skandamis
Marinos Skandamis is the Secretary General of Crime Policy of the Greek Ministry of Justice, Transparency and Human Rights since 2011. Prior to this appointment he served as Special Secretary of Correctional Policy and Forensic Services from 2009 to 2011. Mr Skandamis holds a PhD in Criminology. He is member of national and international organizations active in the fields of criminology and human rights protection and has authored several articles published in legal and sociology journals.
Pierre Baussand
Pierre Baussand  is the Director of Social Platform, the largest alliance of representative European federations and networks of non-governmental organisations active in the social sector. The Social Platform and its members are committed to the advancement of the principles of equality, solidarity, non-discrimination and the promotion and respect of fundamental rights for all in Europe. Prior to Social Platform, Mr Baussand managed a human rights team for the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe after the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina and led several human rights projects for the European Disability Forum. He also conducted field research in the Middle East on human rights and migration.
Floriane Hohnberg
Floriane Hohenberg is the Head of Tolerance and Non-Discrimination Department at the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR). ODIHR has published an annual report on hate crimes since 2006, containing hard data and information about the extent and types of hate crimes in the OSCE region; developments in legislation; and responses to hate crimes by governments and NGOs. ODIHR takes a comprehensive approach to understanding and addressing hate crime by providing training for police and prosecutors on the investigation and prosecution of hate crime; training for civil society organisations on monitoring hate crime; and producing guides for NGOs on monitoring hate crime and for policy makers on developing effective hate crime laws and data collection mechanisms. Before her appointment in ODIHR, Ms Hohenberg was the Head of the Representation in Germany of the French Commission for the Victims of Spoliation Resulting from Antisemitic Legislation in Force during the Occupation (2000 to 2004).
Pavel Tychtl
Pavel Tychtl is is Policy Officer at the DG Communication of the European Commission, where he has been responsible for the remembrance activities organised by the Commission since 2005 and is managing the Remembrance Action of “Europe for Citizens” programme. Previously, Mr Tychtl was Director of the European Council on Refugees and Exiles (ECRE) and worked with the Czech Academy of Sciences. He has also experience in the voluntary sector, where he worked as director of the Czech Organisation for Aid to Refugees. Mr Tychtl holds a degree in sociology and social history at Charles University in Prague and New School for Social Research in New York.
 
Aija Kalnaja
Aija Kalnaja is the Head of the Training Unit at the European Police College (CEPOL), which she joined in September 2011. She has 20 years of policing experience and international law enforcement expertise. Prior to joining CEPOL, Ms Kalnaja held the position of Deputy Chief of the Latvian Police, responsible for international cooperation and administrative affairs for the national police force. Between 2007 and 2011, she was Latvia’s Police Attaché to the United Kingdom, acting as a strategic advisor to the Latvian government on police matters and cooperation with the United Kingdom. Before this, from 2003, she headed the Latvian SIRENE Bureau, managing the establishment of the national bureau. Externally, Ms Kalnaja led the Latvian delegations to the Council of Europe and European Commission working groups
Karen Jochelson
Karen Jochelson is the Director of Economy and Employment Programme at the UK Equality and Human Rights Commission. She is responsible for developing and delivering the Commission’s work with the private sector in its role as an employer and as a service provider. She was the Director of Research at the Commission from 2008 to 2012 and led a human rights review which assessed the government’s compliance with the European Convention on Human Rights. Until December 2007, Ms Jochelson led the public health work programme at the King’s Fund (London). She has also published extensively on the history of sexually transmitted diseases, racism, human rights, unemployment, business, and politics in South Africa.
Françoise Tulkens
Françoise Tulkens  is a member of the FRA Scientific Committee and a former Judge at the European Court of Human Rights (1998 to 2012), where she served as Section President from January 2007 and Vice-President of the Court from February 2011. In 2012, she took up an appointment as a member of the Kosovo Human Rights Advisory Panel. Ms Tulkens holds a Doctorate in Law and is an associate Member of the Belgian Royal Academy. Previously she was Professor at the University of Louvain and has taught in Belgium as well as abroad. Ms Tulkens has authored many publications and holds honorary doctorates from the Universities of Geneva, Limoges, Ottawa and Ghent.
Vytautas Leskevicius
Vytautas Leškevičius is the Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Lithuania. During the Lithuanian Presidency of the Council of the EU, he is responsible for shaping and implementing the European Union’s policy, as well as developing and strengthening relations with the European Union’s institutions, member states of the European Union and candidate countries. He also directed preparations for the Lithuanian Presidency of the Council of the European Union. Mr Leškevičius has held various positions in the Lithuanian diplomatic service since 1996.
Closing speech by Vytautas Leškevičius
Giannis Ioannidis
Giannis F. Ioannidis has been the Secretary General of the Greek Ministry of Interior since August 2012. He previously served as Secretary General of Transparency and Human Rights at the Greek Ministry of Justice, Transparency and Human Rights, from February 2011 to July 2012. Mr. Ioannidis also served as Secretary General of the Hellenic Union for Human Rights, and was a member of the National Commission for Human Rights. He is an attorney at the Hellenic Supreme Court, specialized in administrative and criminal law, and has authored several articles published in legal journals and the media.
Manfred Nowak
Manfred Nowak is the Vice-Chairperson and Austrian Member of the FRA Management Board. He is also Professor of International law and Human Rights at Vienna University, Co-Director of the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute of Human Rights and the chair of the independent human rights commission at the Austrian Ministry of Interior. From 2004 to 2010, he served as United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture. Before that Mr Nowak was a judge at the Human Rights Chamber in Bosnia (1996-2003). Mr Nowak has published more than 500 books and articles on international, constitutional, administrative and human rights law, and has received numerous awards in the field of human rights.
Closing speech by Manfred Nowak

 

Moderators

Saira Khan
Saira Khan is an author, TV presenter and an experienced host of numerous high level conferences. She often discusses topics related to British Muslim integration, diversity, forced marriages, rights of the child and has hosted the documentary “Spotlight: Forced to Marry”. In her book "P.U.S.H FOR SUCCESS” she shares her secret to self-development and uses her personal challenges from her upbringing as a British Asian Muslim to illustrate how to overcome societal prejudice and achieve your life goals and ambitions. Ms Khan is the ambassador for two charities ‘Family and Parenting’ and ‘Pact Charity’.
Friso Roscam Abbing
Friso Roscam Abbing has served as Head of Communication Department at the FRA since 2009. For the last three years Mr Roscam Abbing has been the moderator of the agency’s annual Fundamental Rights Conference. Prior to this, Mr Roscam Abbing was a Member of Cabinet of the European Commission Vice-President Jacques Barrot, the Commissioner for Freedom, Security and Justice. From 2004–2008, he was the spokesman of European Commission Vice President Franco Frattini, the Commissioner responsible for Freedom, Security and Justice issues. Between 2000 and 2004, he headed the EU Asylum Polices sector at the European Commission's DG Justice, Freedom and Security. Before this, he led the EU Office of the European Council on Refugees and Exiles (ECRE, 1994-2000) after starting his career as Head of the Legal Department at the Dutch Refugee Council (1986-1994).

 

Working groups

Working groups FRC 2013

Over the course of two days, a total of ten working groups will take place. The purpose of the working groups is to highlight particular aspects of hate crime and address how they can be improved. Each parallel session will be introduced by a panel of practitioners who will present effective strategies to combat hate crime through legal and policy measures at the national and EU levels. Discussions will then continue in an interactive format aimed at exchanging knowledge, ideas and practices between participants. Below is a list of the ten thematic working groups and the key areas; followed by an in-depth description of each session.

 

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

  1. Making hate crime visible: strategies to build trust and encourage reporting
  2. Challenges of cyberhate
  3. Legal instruments pertaining to hate crime in the EU
  4. Assistance for victims of hate crime
  5. Ensuring effective investigation and prosecution

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

  1. Recording and monitoring hate crime: strategies to improve official data collection mechanisms
  2. Reflecting remembrance in human rights education and training
  3. Vigilance and awareness: capacity building for law enforcement and criminal justice system
  4. Connecting the dots – discrimination as a trigger for hate crime
  5. Gross trivialisation: negating crimes of the past

 


Working groups for Tuesday, November 12, 2013


Working group I: Making hate crime visible: strategies to build trust and encourage reporting

Victims and witnesses often do not report hate crimes because they lack confidence in the ability of law enforcement agencies and of the criminal justice system to deal effectively with their cases. They also tend not to turn to civil society organisations or victim support services to report hate crimes. As a result, hate crimes often remain invisible, with victims unable to seek redress against perpetrators.

While law enforcement agencies are, on the whole, responsible for enabling the proper recording of hate crimes, it is up to the criminal justice system to highlight bias motivations when rendering judgments. Civil society organisations and victim support services can serve as intermediaries in the process, for example, through enabling systems of third party reporting.

This working group will seek to explore how we can make hate crime visible. It will look at how to enhance trust in law enforcement agencies and the criminal justice system among victims and witnesses of hate crime. It will also try to suggest ways to encourage reporting of hate crime, such as getting assistance from civil society organisations and victim support services.

Chaired by: Christos Giakoumopoulos, Director for Human Rights, Council of Europe

Presentations:

  • Ambassador Ingrid Schulerud, Norway EEA Grants
  • Dovilė Šakalienė, Acting Director, Human Rights Monitoring Institute, Lithuania

Protection of Hate Crime Victims’ Rights: the case of Lithuania

For more information please see:

Declarations - Rosemary Byrne Programme

Declarations - Rosemary Byrne Coclusions - Making hate crime visible: strategies to build trust and encourage reporting


Working group II: Challenges of cyberhate

Research has shown that in today’s era of social media where public and private lives intermingle, the internet may also be used as a platform for hate and harassment, in particular for antisemitism, LGBT-hate speech, and racism or intolerance towards migrants and minorities.

This working group will stimulate debate about the challenges to combating hate crime on the internet – cyberhate and what could be done. State and civil society practitioners throughout Europe will participate and share views, experiences, questions and tentative solutions, join forces and ideas and produce conclusions that will help feed EU policy.

The working group will make practical suggestions about legal or policy tools, human capacity and technical resources. It will also share about promising initiatives from state and non-state actors that could effectively prevent and confront cyberhate at EU and national level.

Chaired by: Marnix Auman, Head of Cyber Intelligence, European Cybercrime Centre, EUROPOL – European Police Office

Presentations:

  • Melinda Losonczi-Molnár, Acting Deputy Chief Prosecutor of the V-XIII District Prosecution Office of Budapest, Hungary
  • Gabriella Cseh, Head of Public Policy for Central and Eastern Europe, Facebook

For more information please see:

 FRC20131211WG02 Programme

 FRC20131211WG02 Conclusions - Challenges of cyberhate


Working group III: Legal instruments pertaining to hate crime in the EU

This working group will discuss means of improving the legal framework addressing crimes committed with a discriminatory motive. As a starting point, existing European legal instruments will be analysed, with particular emphasis on:

  • The Framework Decision 2008/913/JHA of November 2008 on combating certain forms and expressions of racism and xenophobia by means of criminal law;
  • The Directive 2012/29/EU of 25 October 2012 establishing minimum standards on the rights, support and protection of victims of crime;
  • The Audiovisual Media Services Directive (2010/13/EU);
  • The Additional Protocol to the Council of Europe Convention on Cybercrime.

Chaired by: Salla Saastamoinen, Head of Unit Fundamental Rights and Rights of the Child, DG Justice, European Commission

Presentations:

  • ‘EU Framework Decision on Racism and Xenophobia’
    David Friggieri, Legal officer, DG Justice, European Commission

- Presentation

  • ‘The work of special prosecutors on hate crime – practical examples from Spain’
    Miguel Ángel Aguilar, public prosecutor of the Special Hate Crimes and Discrimination Service, Barcelona Provincial Prosecutor's Office, Spain

- Presentation

For more information please see:

 FRC20131211WG03 Programme

 FRC20131211WG03 Conclusions - Legal instruments pertaining to hate crime in the EU


Working group IV: Assistance for victims of hate crime

The availability of assistance for hate crime victims across the EU varies. Closer cooperation between governments, state authorities, equality bodies, civil society, and victim support organisations is needed to enable victims’ access their rights and receive appropriate support. The EU Victims’ Directive encourages Member States to coordinate and cooperate with civil society organisations in monitoring and evaluating the impact of measures to support and to protect victims. The directive also highlights that particularly vulnerable victims, including the victims of hate crime, should receive specialist support.

Given the trauma often suffered by hate crime victims and their reluctance to report to the police, victim support services are essential to help victims come to terms with what they have endured and to encourage them to actively seek redress and participate in proceedings. A high percentage of victims, including hate crime victims, do not report incidents to the relevant authorities. To tackle this, Member States must find ways to encourage victims and to facilitate reporting. Effective support services and mechanisms to support victims and help them access justice is crucial in this regard.

This working group will explore practical solutions for victim support services tailored to the specific situation and needs of victims of hate crime.

Chaired by: Paul Iganski, Professor of Criminology & Criminal Justice, Lancaster University Law School, United Kingdom

Presentations:

  • ‘The role of an Equality Body in assistance and redress for victims of hate crime’
    Jozef De Witte, Chair of the Board of EQUINET and Executive Director of the Centre for Equal Opportunities and Opposition to Racism, Belgium
  • ‘Stop Hate Crime! Experiences from Central and Eastern Europe’
    Timm Köhler, Programme Manager, Foundation ‘Remembrance, Responsibility, Future’ (EVZ), Germany

For more information please see:

 FRC20131211WG04 Programme

 FRC20131211WG04 Conclusions - Assistance for victims of hate crime


Working group V: Ensuring effective investigation and prosecution

Member States are obliged to ensure that victims have access to effective remedies, including criminal justice responses when hate crimes are committed. Any bias motives behind offences have to be taken into account and acknowledged by the police, prosecution services and courts. This could include introducing enhanced penalties for hate crimes that go beyond including any bias motivation as an aggravating circumstance in the criminal law. The establishment of hate crime indicators for law enforcement could also be useful in this regard.

This working group will furthermore explore ways to ensure that national law enforcement officials can easily exchange practices when addressing hate crimes. It will look at how cross-border cooperation has worked so far and what challenges still remain. This will include a discussion on the impact the Framework Decision on Racism and Xenophobia has had on the investigation and on prosecution of hate crime in EU Member States.

It will also cover how to ensure hate crime victims should benefit from appropriate measures to protect them against confrontations with regard to secondary or repeat victimisation, intimidation and retaliation.

Chaired by: Alinde Verhaag, Head of Case Analysis Unit, EUROJUST

Presentations:

  • ‘Racist Hate Crime: human rights and the criminal justice system in Northern’
    Genevieve Sauberli, Researcher - Investigations and Policy, Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission, United Kingdom

- Presentation 
Racist Hate Crime, Human Rights and the Criminal Justice System in Northern Ireland - Overview
Racist Hate Crime, Human Rights and the Criminal Justice System in Northern Ireland - Full report

  • ‘ Investigation and prosecution practices in Europe - findings of the European Commission Against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI)
    Stephanos Stavros, Executive Secretary to ECRI, Directorate of Human Rights and Antidiscrimination, Council of Europe

- Presentation
- ECRI Country monitoring recommendations

 For more information please see:

 FRC20131211WG05 Ensuring effective investigation and prosecution

 FRC20131211WG04 Conclusions - Ensuring effective investigation and prosecution


Working Groups for Wednesday, November 13, 2013


Working group I: Recording and monitoring hate crime: strategies to improve official data collection mechanisms

Few EU Member States have mechanisms in place to record hate crime in any detail. Such mechanisms, when available, produce valuable data to assist law enforcement agencies, the criminal justice system, policy makers and civil society organisations tackle hate crime. Member States with limited data collection – where few incidents are reported, recorded and therefore prosecuted – can be said to be failing in their duty to tackle hate crime. The EU Victims Directive points to systematic and adequate statistical data collection as being essential for effective policy making.

Differences among EU Member States in relation to hate crime legislation has a direct effect on how law enforcement agencies and criminal justice systems deal with this type of crime. Narrow legal definitions, for instance, tend to lead to under-recording of incidents and hence low numbers of prosecutions, thereby affording victims fewer opportunities for redress.

This working group will look into how to define hate crime for recording and monitoring purposes; and how to establish effective data collection systems by addressing the challenges inherent in recording and monitoring hate crime. It will also discuss training law enforcement officials and representatives of the criminal justice system in recognising hate crime.

Chaired by: Floriane Hohenberg, Head of Tolerance and Non-Discrimination Department, OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR)

Presentations:

  • ‘Training Security Forces in identifying and recording hate crimes’
    José Alberto Ramírez Vázquez, Ministry of Interior; and Nicolás Marugán Zalba, Ministry of Employment and Social Security

Handbook for Security Forces in identifying and recording racist or xenophobic incidents

  • ‘Collecting hate crime data: ODIHR’s comprehensive approach’
    Joanna Perry, Hate crime officer, OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR)

For more information please see:

 FRC20131311WG01 Programme

 FRC20131311WG01 Conclusions - Recording and monitoring hate crime: strategies to improve official data collection mechanism


Working group II:  Reflecting remembrance in human rights education and training

The European Union is built on fundamental values such as freedom, democracy and respect for human rights. In order to fully appreciate their meaning, it is necessary to remember the breaches of those principles caused in Europe – and to learn from them. History has taught us: to look forward we must look back. Learning from the past, understanding causes and effects, and raising awareness about these issues can make an important contribution to help to prevent such crimes in the future. This is true regardless of the always specific national contexts and different experiences across the different countries. In this way, people today can learn to understand the consequence of choices they make for themselves and wider society.

This working group will therefore look at the understanding of what shared memory can mean, and how it is possible to arrive to European reconciliation, while at the same time acknowledging victims of discriminatory crimes of the past. It will look into patterns of the past, to learn from them to understand the present and to prevent hate crimes for the future. Finally, it aims to collect concrete promising practices, initiatives, and ways forward.

Chaired by: Pavel Tychtl, DG Communication, European Commission

Presentations:

  • Jana Havlikova, Head of the Development and Public Relations department, Jewish Museum Prague, Czech Republic

Presentation

  • Rafał Rogulski, Director, European Network Remembrance and Solidarity
  • Abdool Karim Vakil, Department of History, King's College London; and Chair of the Research and Documentation Committee, Muslim Council of Britain, United Kingdom

- Presentation

  • Maciej Zabierowski, Education and New Media Manager, Auschwitz Jewish Center, Poland

Presentation

For more information please see:

 FRC20131311WG02 Programme

 FRC20131311WG02 Conclusions - Reflecting remembrance in human rights education and training


Working group III: Vigilance and awareness: capacity building for law enforcement and criminal justice systems

Building capacity to tackle and increase understanding of hate crime within law enforcement and criminal justice systems is crucial towards combatting hate crime. The police in particular play a key role in protecting the rights of victims of hate crime. Training of law enforcement and criminal justice practitioners to enable them to identify victims of hate crime, understand their needs and deal with them in a respectful, sensitive, professional and non-discriminatory manner is key; particularly with regard to acknowledging ‘new’ forms of hate crime that may not yet have received sufficient attention, such as hate crimes committed against persons with a disability.

The perceived capacity of the police to address hate crime and support victims is also essential for victims to trust authorities and report hate crime incidents. There is also a need for local, national and EU level training curricula to reflect increasing societal diversity and address the new risks of discrimination that may arise. Member States should also ensure that safeguards are implemented to prevent institutional forms of discrimination and allow individuals to address grievances. Furthermore, attention should be given to the language used when describing hate crimes within police and criminal justice systems.

This working group will discuss these issues, and highlight challenges and promising practices in the area. This includes the creation of specialised units or people within police and prosecution services responsible for dealing with hate crime.

Chaired by: Aija Kalnaja

Presentations:

  • ‘Training as part of a broader government programme’
    Paul Giannasi, Police Superintendent, Hate Crime Programme, Ministry of Justice, United Kingdom
  • ‘ ‘Left hand, right hand’
    Gamal Turawa, Police Trainer

Presentation

For more information please see:

 FRC20131311WG03 Vigilance and awareness: capacity building for law enforcement and criminal justice systems

 FRC20131311WG03 Vigilance and Awareness – Presentation by Joanna Goodey, Head of Freedoms and Justice Department, FRA

 FRC20131311WG03 Conclusions - Capacity building for law enforcement and criminal justice systems


Working group IV: Connecting the dots – discrimination as a trigger for hate crime

This working group will look at how discriminatory attitudes manifest themselves in hate crimes. More specifically, in light of Article 21 of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights, it will examine to what extent the discriminatory motives behind such offences are fully addressed at EU and national level. The working group will look closely at the advantages and disadvantages of different policies and systems which EU Member States have put in place to address and prevent hate crime (including criminal, administrative, civil law tools).

The broad and diverse background of participants will ensure there is a focused debate on the role(s) of different bodies in preventing and addressing hate crimes. These bodies include governmental institutions, the police, prosecution services, the judiciary, victim support services organisations as well as equality bodies and other national human rights structures.

Participants are encouraged to identify drivers and barriers, as well as promising practices, of how different laws, policies and structures can be combined to effectively address hate crime in practice.

Chaired by: Karen Jochelson, Director of Economy and Employment Programme, Equality and Human Rights Commission, United Kingdom

Presentations:

  • ‘Hate crimes and the principles on equality’
    Dimitrina Petrova, Executive Director, Equal Rights Trust
  • ‘Effective strategies to combat discrimination as a trigger for hate crime – Portuguese experience’
    Pedro Lomba, Secretary of State Assistant to the Minister in the Cabinet of the Prime Minister and for Regional Development, Portugal
  • ‘The use of legislation to combat hate crimes’
    Ana Bandalo, Attorney at law, Croatia
  • Dr. Neela Winkelmann, Managing Director, Platform of European Memory and Conscience (tbc)
  • Thomas Hochmann, Associate Professor, University of Reims Champagne Ardenne
     

For more information please see:

 FRC20131311WG04 Programme

 FRC20131311WG04 Conclusions - Connecting the dots, discrimination as a trigger for hate crime


Working group V: Gross trivialisation: negating crimes of the past

This working group will look into discriminatory aspects of negating crimes of the past, including revisionism and negationism as defined in Article 1.1 of the Framework Decision on Racism and Xenophobia. Based on the case-law provided by the European Court of Human Rights it will analyse the importance of as well as the limits to criminalising revisionism and negationism in the wider context of other severe forms of discrimination.

Negating crimes of the past means denying their victims the right to be acknowledged and redressed. The discussion will stimulate debates on how to best respect the rights of victims of repressive or totalitarian regimes and how to protect them against expressions of contempt, including revisionism and negationism. It will highlight other relevant human rights aspects such as the protection of individuals against the revitalisation and resurgence of repressive or totalitarian ideologies and the protection of vulnerable groups against intimidation.

Chaired by: Françoise Tulkens, member of the FRA Scientific Committee and former Vice-President of the European Court of Human Rights

For more information please see:

 FRC20131311WG05 Programme

 FRC20131311WG05 Conclusions - Negating crimes of the past

 

Practical info

Practical info FRC 2013

Due to the limited capacity of the venue, participation is upon invitation only.
Participants were selected to represent the broadest possible range of fundamental rights concerns as well as geographical variety.

Contact FRA

For more information about the conference please contact us at: frc@fra.europa.eu

Conference venue

 

The Fundamental Rights Conference 2013 will take place on the 12-13 November 2013 in the Lithuanian Exhibition and Congress Centre in Vilnius.

Lithuanian Exhibition and Congress Centre (Litexpo)
Laisves pr. 56
LT-04215 Vilnius
Lithuania
http://www.litexpo.lt/en/home

 

Past editions

Past editions

Every year the Fundamental Rights Conference brings together the key fundamental rights actors in the EU to examine a specific fundamental rights issue, stimulating the debate on challenges that exist and exploring solutions on how these could be overcome.

Fundamental Rights Conference 2012

Fundamental Rights Conference 2012

Justice in austerity

Budget cuts in the wake of the current economic crisis should not affect a person’s legal entitlement and right to access justice. This was the theme of the 2012 Fundamental Rights Conference, organised by the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) and held at the European Parliament in Brussels.

2012 Programme [en] [fr] (pdf)

 

 

 

Fundamental Rights Conference 2011

Fundamental Rights Conference 2011

Dignity and rights of irregular migrants

The conference was organised in cooperation with the Polish Presidency of the Council of the European Union and discussed how to improve access to fundamental rights for migrants in an irregular situation, namely of those persons without authorisation to stay in the EU. The discussions were drawing on FRA’s EU-wide research on the situation of migrants in an irregular situation, which was published in the run-up to the conference. The conference discussions underlined the importance of applying a fundamental rights approach in migration management and offered a number of practical suggestions to facilitate access to justice, respect the right to education and health, preserve the best interests of the child, combat labour exploitation, reduce the use of immigration detention, and end situations of legal limbo for persons who are not removed.

2011 Programme [en] [fr] [pl] (pdf)

Summary conclusions[en] [fr] (pdf)

 

 

Fundamental Rights Conference 2010

Fundamental Rights Conference 2010

Ensuring justice and protection for all children

The previous FRC, held in Brussels on 7 -8 December 2010, stimulated the debate on challenges and strategies to protect particularly vulnerable children and deliver child-friendly justice in the European Union.

The emphasis during this conference was on exploring avenues for Member State authorities to better protect vulnerable children by following an integrated approach to child protection and involving civil society and children themselves.

2010 Programme [en] [fr] (pdf)
2010 Final report [en] (pdf)

Fundamental Rights Conference 2009

Fundamental Rights Conference 2009

Making rights a reality for all

Making rights a reality for all was the theme of the FRC 2009 which was held in cooperation with the Swedish Presidency of the EU in Stockholm on 10-11 December 2009.

The focus was on identifying solutions to protect and promote the rights of marginalised groups which are most vulnerable to discrimination and exclusion in the EU.

2009 Programme [en] (pdf)
2009 Final report [en] (pdf)

 

Fundamental Rights Conference 2008

Fundamental Rights Conference 2008

Freedom of expression, a cornerstone of democracy - listening and communicating in a diverse Europe

The Fundamental Rights Agency launched its Fundamental Rights Conference in Paris on 8-9 December 2008.

The event examined key issues and challenges related to freedom of expression. Entitled "Freedom of expression, a cornerstone of democracy - listening and communicating in a diverse Europe", the conference aimed to contribute to policy and action within the European Union and to help shape the evolving space for communication among Europeans.

2008 Programme [en] (pdf)