Working Group on Combating Hate Crimes Zespół ds. przeciwdziałania przestępstwom z nienawiści

The Working Group provides a forum for minority groups and NGOs to liaise with public authorities on various hate crime issues and to discuss ways of combating hate crime.

The Working Group holds plenary meetings and meetings in smaller groups.

The participants of the Working Group are:             

  • Representatives of groups that most commonly experience hate crime (including migrant communities, national and ethnic minorities, denominational groups, and LGBT people) and NGOs working to combat hate crime against these groups;
  • Representatives of the Ministry of the Interior and Administration (these are normally members of the Human Rights Protection Team) and the police;
  • Representatives of other institutions as required.

Most of the civil society organisations that asked to participate had worked with the Ministry (the Human Rights Protection Team) during the project Immigrants against hate crimes – how to effectively assert your rights.

The Working Group’s first meeting covered:

  • How to facilitate reporting: As an example, police representatives explained the regulations that govern personal data confidentiality of victims who report crimes (to convince people that reporting a crime to the police is safe for the victim);
  • The creation of a common form for reporting hate crimes to the police;
  • The appointment of designated contacts within minority communities and the police (liaison officers).

As a result of this, each organisation in the Working Party now has a designated contact person. These people are often leading figures in particular communities or minority groups.

This means that each side has a direct point of communication with the other, providing a channel for the easy exchange of information between communities and public institutions. This helps the groups to convey any needs they have and problems they face, and to discuss possible ways of addressing them.  

Participants are also asked about the subjects they want to discuss and their responses are taken into account when designing meeting agendas. 


In this page:


Implementing the practice: step by step

There were a number of steps that occurred in developing the practice:

  • The requirement for such a practice was expressed by minority groups. The idea initially emerged during the conference for the project Immigrants against hate crimes – how to effectively assert your rights.
  • The concept for the Working Group was devised, including its composition, way of functioning, and the thematic areas that should be covered.
  • Once formulated, this was presented to the Ministry of Interior, which gave its approval.
  • Invitations were then sent to NGOs representing particular minority groups (immigrants, national and ethnic minorities, religious groups, LGBT people, people with disabilities) that were also active in combating hate crime.
  • When invitations were sent, groups were asked to select a topic for the first meeting. The options were chosen from a list of solutions on how to eliminate barriers in reporting hate crimes. These came out of the conference related to the Immigrants against hate crimes project.
  • The first meeting was conducted, and this constituted the beginning of the Working Group.

Such a project requires the building of a network with civil society organisations working with and advocating for the needs of the minority groups in question. 

Evaluation of the practice

The Ministry of the Interior and Administration (Ministerstwo Spraw Wewnętrznych I Administracji) is responsible for assessing the impact of the practice. Participants in the Working Group are consulted about how this should be conducted. As the initiative is still relatively new, it is too early to judge its effectiveness.

One of the aims of the initiative is to make reporting hate crimes easier. This can be achieved by creating tools and practices to facilitate reporting to the police, building partnerships between the police and civil society organisations, and by addressing other issues that discourage people from reporting hate crimes.   

Critical success factors

  • Preparing and conducting activities according to the needs outlined by the minority groups themselves.

Elements transferable to other EU Member States

The project is transferable as a whole.

However, minority groups in other Member States can have different characteristics and needs. Close cooperation with those communities is required to understand their needs and to amend the project accordingly. 

Key Facts

Start date: October 2015.
End date: Ongoing (as of April 2016).
Scope of the practice: National.
Target group: Hate crime victims.
Beneficiaries: Groups subjected to hate crime.
Key objectives: To facilitate communication between the Ministry of the Interior and Administration and minority groups; to design tailored actions aimed at dealing more effectively with problems related to hate crime; to discuss current issues relating to minority communities with the police and the border guard authority.

Legal basis of the practice

The practice is not based on a specific hate crime legal framework. It is based on the statutory tasks of the Ministry of the Interior (which became the Ministry of the Interior and Administration in November 2015) - Regulamin organizacyjny Ministerstwa Spraw Wewnętrznych.

Designing bodies and partners consulted

  • Designing body: Ministry of the Interior - Ministerstwo Spraw Wewnętrznych.
  • Partners consulted: civil society organisations representing minorities that experience hate crimes.

Implementing Bodies

  • Ministry of the Interior and Administration - Ministerstwo Spraw Wewnętrznych i Administracji.

Further information

None provided.

Contacts

  • Human Rights Protection Team in Ministry of the Interior and Administration
  • Email: Zpc (at) mswia (dot) gov (dot) pl