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‘Facing Facts!’ presented at OSCE-ODIHR


Mike Whine of the Community Security Trust (CST) presented Facing Facts! at the ‘Human Dimension Implementation Meeting’ of the OSCE-ODHIR in Warsaw on 29 September:

I want to describe briefly a project, developed with the help of ODIHR, which deals with the needs addressed by this session on combating hate crimes. Facing Facts! is designed to assist civil society organisations to monitor hate crimes, to criminal justice standards, and to use the product of their learning to engage more effectively with their governments. All too often civil society groups merely send media reports about hate crime to their governments or to ODIHR and the other European agencies, but these are not evidenced, and they need to be if they are to be entered into official records. So Facing Facts! trains trainers and enables them to monitor hate crimes to a higher and better level. So far we have trained around one hundred trainers, from across the complete spectrum of civil society organisations.

The project is managed by CEJI – a Jewish contribution to an inclusive Europe. The other founding partners are my organisation, the Community Security Trust in the UK, and CIDI, the Dutch Jewish monitoring agency.

ILGA and another NGO representing the LGBT communities were also members in the early stages. The project was funded for the first two years by the European Commission, but now relies on funding by other agencies.

We received much useful help and guidance from OSCE ODIHR as well as the UK Ministry of Justice, and their help continues with the next stage of the project which is Facing Facts!.

This is designed to put the training package online so that we can reach more organisations. Bringing the trainers to Brussels, London or Budapest is an expensive proposition, but by putting the project online we can reach many more. This second stage of the project is being funded by Facebook and Twitter, and we are grateful to them for their help.

image (c) @JuliePascoet