Facing Facts - make hate crimes visible

The initiative trains civil society organisations to record hate crime and helps them to build their advocacy capacity for influencing local and national agencies.

There are two current training offers - a Train-the-Trainer course and awareness training on how to monitor hate crime.

CEJI - A Jewish Contribution to an Inclusive Europe - has also created a set of standardised monitoring criteria that are designed to align and provide a common reference point for the advocacy efforts of different social, cultural and ethnic groups.

The network also acts an information exchange platform for a growing group of civil society organisations and Facing Facts’ international partner organisations. International conferences have been organised to facilitate dialogue among relevant actors.

The Facing Facts training course is currently being adapted into an online course. The online module on how to monitor hate crime will be piloted in May 2016, whilst the module on how to monitor hate speech will be piloted in September/October 2016 (online and offline).

Future plans include the development of online courses on hate crime/hate speech monitoring. Specifically tailored for law enforcement agencies and public authorities, they would have a country focus of Italy, the UK, Hungary, Greece and Belgium. The implementation of these courses is dependent on the outcome of a pending funding application. If successful, the above would be piloted and disseminated in 2017.


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Implementing the practice: step by step

The project was started by a coalition of Jewish and LGBT civil society organisations. It has since broadened its scope to encompass organisations tackling all types of hate crime incidents.

Originally focusing on civil society organisations, the project now also targets public authorities, law enforcement agencies, national human rights institutions, and international organisations. These are:  

  • European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA);
  • European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI);
  • Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR, based at the OSCE).

CEJI been fundamental in facilitating all the cross-sector aspects of the project.

Various events have taken place as the project has developed:

  • September 2011 - January 2012: Mapping exercise to detail current civil society organisations practices for monitoring hate crime at the national, regional and local level;
  • January 2012: Expert meeting to identify best practices and to outline the contents of a set of guidelines;
  • April 2012: Second expert meeting held to finalise the guidelines for monitoring hate crimes;
  • April 2012 - October 2012: Draft of the training methodology and a Train-the-Trainer manual on monitoring hate crimes was completed;
  • November 2012: Pilot of the Train-the-Trainer programme - five days in London;
  • March 2014: Train-the-Trainer programme - five days in Budapest;
  • March 2014: Networking meeting for hate crime monitoring practitioners from across Europe – one day in Budapest;
  • March 2014: International conference on improving the relationship between civil society organisations and international organisations and how to better transmit data on hate crime;
  • March 2015: Facing Facts Forward - European conference – focusing on a victim-centred approach to tackling hate crime with the aim of improving the relationship between civil society organisations, law enforcement agencies and public authorities;

September 2015: Joint awareness training on how to monitor hate crimes for civil society organisations, law enforcement agencies and prosecutors in Poland.

Evaluation of the practice

CEJI and the Facing Facts partner organisations are responsible for conducting impact assessments. Civil society organisations within the Facing Facts network and international agency funders are also consulted on these.

Various indicators point to the initiative’s success:                                                         

  • The project guidelines have been translated into nine languages and are used at the national and local level;
  • Training courses have been delivered in London and Budapest. These were evaluated positively by the 42 participants;
  • The Facing Facts Forward conference report (including recommendations) has become a reference text for many advocacy actions/campaigns taking place at the European and national level;
  • The Facing Facts project has been deemed an example of best practice for improving civil society capacity in monitoring hate crimes by FRA, ECRI and the ODIHR (based at the OSCE). It is cited at national and international events.

Several civil society organisations who have undertaken the Facing Facts training programme reported that they set up/improved their own monitoring systems following the training. This enables them to record hate crime incidents better, whilst also empowering organisations to provide a credible service to victims.

Training and public events held as part of the project have provided an opportunity for stakeholders to meet and exchange ideas in a safe and constructive environment, thereby improving the effectiveness of national responses to hate crimes.

Critical success factors

The EU grant which supported the launch of the practice was fundamental in helping to build up its credibility and the structures required for successful project delivery. The fundraising strategy in place since the end of the grant has raised the money needed to sustain the running of the practice for more than four years.

Vital to the success of a project is the ongoing involvement of all stakeholders, namely civil society, law enforcement agencies, prosecutors and government. Hate crime affects everyone, meaning that a joint effort is required to bring about institutional change.

Whilst training courses are valuable, they only allow for limited outreach in relation to the financial and time resources dedicated to them. The team are therefore now in the process of designing an online tool. Able to reach a far larger audience, this will have a greater impact on the local, regional and national responses to hate crime. 

Elements transferable to other EU Member States

The guidelines on how to monitor hate crime (already translated into nine languages) can be applied everywhere.

The Facing Facts training course is highly adaptable to a variety of contexts and can even be delivered as separate components.

The recommendations from the last Facing Facts conference are applicable in different European countries/contexts. 

Key Facts

Start date: January 2012.
End date: Ongoing (as of April 2016). 
Scope of the practice: Local.
Target group: Civil society organisations; law enforcement and public authorities at the local, regional and national level.
Beneficiaries: Civil society organisations; law enforcement and public authorities, Jewish people, people of African descent, LGBT people.
Key objectives: To empower civil society organisations, law enforcement and public authorities to monitor hate crime through training; to improve cooperation between stakeholders to strengthen intercommunity solidarity and to ensure society responds better to hate crime; to foster institutional changes in hate crime perception at the local, national, and regional level.

Legal basis of the practice

The practice is not based on a specific hate crime legal framework. It is based on the EU Framework Decision on combating certain forms and expressions of racism and xenophobia by means of criminal law.

Designing bodies and partners consulted

The project is coordinated by CEJI - A Jewish Contribution to an Inclusive Europe.

This is done in partnership with:

  • The Community Security Trust (a UK-based NGO that works to ensure the safety and security of the Jewish community).
  • Centrum Informatie en Documentatie Israel (a Dutch NGO that aims to defend the right to peace and security of the Jewish people throughout the world).
  • COC Nederland (a Netherlands-based LGBT rights and advocacy organisation).   
  • International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association Europe.

International agencies consulted include:  

  • European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA)
  • European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI)
  • Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR, based at the OSCE)

Implementing Bodies

The main implementing body is CEJI - A Jewish Contribution to an Inclusive Europe.

The UK Ministry of Justice is also consulted on implementation. 

Further information