OSCE trains Ukraine’s civil society representatives on hate crime prevention


An OSCE-organized training course for civil society representatives on how to prevent and respond to hate crimes ended in Kyiv on 4 December.

More than 20 civil society activists from throughout Ukraine took part in the three-day event, which provided the participants with an opportunity to increase their knowledge of hate crimes and to devise strategies on how to combat this phenomenon more effectively.

"While the primary responsibility to address hate crimes lies with government authorities, civil society representatives play a crucial role in combating this phenomenon. Since they live in the midst of communities, they can monitor and report on hate-motivated incidents effectively and complement the action of authorities by providing support to victims," said Floriane Hohenberg, the Head of the Tolerance and Non-Discrimination Department at the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR).

Maksym Butkevych from the Centre "Social Action" and Yana Tyapkina from the International Organization for Migration led the seminar "We hope that the participants will be able to use strategies explored during this workshop with local authorities, other non-governmental organizations and targeted communities," said Tyapkina.

Butkevych said that the discussions during the seminar also focused on clarifying the distinction between hate speech and hate crimes: "Many participants are concerned about intolerance in the media, in particular negative stereotypes about minorities."

The training seminar for NGO representatives interested in preventing and responding to hate crimes was jointly organized by ODIHR and the Ukraine-based Centre "Social Action" with the support of the OSCE Project Co-ordinator in Ukraine.

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