Fundamental Rights Conference 2013 Working groups

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