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07.05.2009

Too little being done to fight racism

   

This is the message from the European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI) of the Council of Europe, reiterated at a round table held in Kyiv on 7 May. The event is aimed at 1) considering the Third Report on Ukraine (published a year ago); 2) discussing responses to racially motivated violence; (3) the fight for equality – implementing anti-discrimination laws; (4) racism, xenophobia, anti-Semitism and intolerance in public discourse and in the public sphere.

At the round table, the Commission reiterated its concern that criminal legislation against racially motivated crimes had not been strengthened and that the authorities had not yet adopted a comprehensive body of civil and administrative anti-discrimination law. 

According to ECRI Rapporteur B. Kristeinsson, “This is needed to make it easier to prosecute people who stir up racism and intolerance. Protection of human dignity, which is the aim of [Article 161], should be extended and include hate crimes on the basis of race and ethnic origin.

ECRI recommends that the Ukrainian authorities take measures to improve the trust of victims of racism and intolerance, especially towards the police. This is crucial in effectively fighting racism and discrimination, and will encourage the police to not conceal and actually register the crimes.

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