New report documenting barriers faced by victims of hate crimes based on sexual orientation and gender identity in the access to justice was launched at the international conference “Breaking the barriers” held on 20-21 September 2018 in Sofia, Bulgaria.
The report, covering the situation in 10 EU countries, was prepared by a consortium of 13 organizations led by University of Brescia and Lambda Warsaw. Key findings include: lack of official definitions of hate crime, inadequate training of professionals, inaccessibility of reporting centre and victim support services and ignoring victims’ rights in the criminal justice process.
“Across the European Union, LGBTI people face discrimination and violence based on their sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression or sex characteristics. Most incidents are not reported, which impedes the possibility to investigate hate crimes and prosecute offenders,” wrote the report editors Dr Piotr Godzisz from Lambda Warsaw and Dr Giacomo Viggiani from the University of Brescia. According to them, “the lack of reports renders the problem of anti-LGBTI hate crimes invisible to the public and may prevent authorities from acknowledging and addressing the problem. As a result, victims often suffer in silence and their rights may not be fully respected.”
The report, titled “Running through Hurdles: Obstacles in the Access to Justice for Victims of Anti-LGBTI Hate Crimes”, covers the legal framework, understanding of hate crime by professionals, training, reporting, recording, victims’ rights and support services. “These are key areas where we have identified major deficiencies in responding to anti-LGBTI hate crimes,” said Godzisz. “While some countries took steps to address anti-LGBTI violence, there is no country that does it right. Victims are let down everywhere.”
To continue reading this new you can visit: http://www.lgbthatecrime.eu/news/running-through-hurdles-new-report-on-access-to-justice-for-victims-of-anti-lgbti-hate-crime-39
Research first, training second
The report is based on 195 interviews conducted with professionals – police officers, prosecutors, victim support service personnel and NGOs – in 10 countries. The research is a core activity of the two-year project Come Forward: Empowering and Supporting Victims of Anti-LGBT Hate Crimes, co- financed by the European Com- mission’s Rights, Equality and Citizenship (2014-2020) programme. The project aims to increase reporting of homophobic and transphobic hate crimes through building the capacity of civil society and official partners and empowering victim communities. By the end of 2018, over 1000 professionals, including police officers and social services, will have been trained using a tailored approach. Handbooks for professionals and infopacks for victims have also been developed and printed in 10 languages.
The project is implemented by the consortium encompassing 23 partners: University of Brescia (Italy), Lambda Warsaw (Poland), Çavaria (Belgium), Bilitis (Bulgaria), GLAS (Bulgaria), Zagreb Pride (Croatia), Praksis (Greece), Colour Youth (Greece), Háttér (Hungary), LGL (Lithuania), GES (Spain), University of Girona (Spain), Galop (United Kingdom), Avvocatura per i Diritti LGBTI (Italy), TGEU (international), ILGA Europe (international), Office of the Commissioner for Human Rights (Poland), Institute for the Equality of Women and Men (Belgium), Human Rights House (Croatia), Human Rights Monitoring Institute (Lithuania), Greek Ombudsman (Greece), Bulgarian Lawyers for Human Rights (Bulgaria), and Interfederal Centre for Equal Opportunities (Belgium) and the International Network for Hate Studies.
The Report “Running through Hurdles: Obstacles in the Access to Justice for Victims of Anti-LGBTI Hate Crimes”, can be downloaded by everyone from the website www.lgbthatecrime.eu