On June 18, 2015, the Centre for Legal Resources (CLR) organized a conference on the topic of Combating hate crimes. The event was organized within the project Monitoring human rights through international mechanisms financed through the EEA grants (2009-2014) as part of the NGO Fund in Romania (donor countries: Norway, Iceland, Lichtenstein).
The aim of the conference was to stimulate open debate among relevant actors with regards to this phenomenon, the manner in which it manifests itself, and particularly on how hate crimes can be efficiently combated in Romania. Within the conference, CLR launched the publication Combating hate crimes. Guide for practitioners and decision-makers. The Conference benefitted from the presence and interventions of NGOs representing groups vulnerable to discrimination and hate crime or institutions which have in their mandate to combat the phenomenon. It also benefited from the presence of professionals working in the field of hate crime from the police, prosecution, home affairs, from Austria, Denmark, Finland, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom. The presence of foreign professionals was possible due to the support of Embassies of the mentioned countries in Bucharest. Their presentations, made from a very pragmatic perspective, obtained through the experience accumulated in combating hate, had as purpose to transfer expertise to the Romanian colleagues on these matters, particularly pressing for the police activity.
The General Inspectorate of the Romanian Police (GIRP) although it was invited to participate to the event with speakers at the highest level, as well as to send police men and women for whom we would have organized a training session on hate crimes held by a trainer from the Finnish police on June 17, the institution refused to participate to these endeavours. The speakers from GIRP structures who had confirmed, cancelled their participation three days before the conference, and the GIRP declined the invitation of the CLR related to police training.
We appreciate the participation within the conference, with speakers at highest level, of the “Al. I. Cuza” Police Academy and of the “Nicolae Golescu” Police Training Centre from Slatina. However, we reiterate, as we have done during the conference, the fact that the Romanian police and the justice system in general can no longer remain in denial in front of a phenomenon such as hate crimes, which is destructive for democracy. This denial would indicate nothing more but the precariousness of the rule of law in Romania, a situation able to leave the path clear for abuse and human rights breaches of the kind we are already constantly confronted with. It would also indicate the lack of perspective for training Romanian institutions in order to adequately tackle the reality of hate crimes which, although denied in Romania, is tackled and treated with professionalism and as a priority in European Union states, as could be seen also in the conference proceedings.
Contact person: Delia Niţă, Anti-discrimination Programme Manager, +40 729 120 383
The event was organized within the project: „Monitoring human rights through international mechanisms” https://www.crj.ro/en/monitoring-human-rights-through-international-mechanisms/?lang=en