Seminars on Preventing and Combating Discrimination for Employees of Government Agencies and Law Enforcement Authorities
From 8 to 10 December 2014, due to the project “Improvement of the awareness level of the representatives of the governmental institutions in the sphere of the discrimination protection for citizens” was held a series of seminars for local and regional authorities, members of city and district councils, representatives of the police, prosecutors and judges of the Mukachevo city and Mukachevo district in the questions of the protection of human rights and anti-discrimination policies, with a view to creating a culture of tolerance and combating xenophobia in their daily work.
The workshops considered the laws, such as “On Principles of Prevention and Combating Discrimination in Ukraine”, “On ensuring equal rights of women and men”, “On the basis of social protection of invalids in Ukraine”, “International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination”. Also were considered topics such as: The principle of equality and non-discrimination in international law. Hate Crimes (investigation of religious and ethnic intolerance). The case Fedorchenko and Lozenko versus Ukraine in ECHR. In the total number, the seminars attended by over 80 representatives of government agencies and law enforcement.
Invited experts were:
1. Co-coordinator of the project “No Borders” NGO “Centre Social Action”. The Chairman of the Coordination Council of the Coalition for Combating Discrimination in Ukraine – Iryna Fedorovych.
2. The Chairman of the Public Council on Human Rights at Mukachevo city hall. The head of the Mukachevo Human Rights Center – Oleg Grigoryev.
The organizer of seminars in Mukachevo was the Charitable Fund “Progress” in close cooperation with the Mukachevo City Council. The event was held with the assistance of IF “Renaissance” and with the information support of the Coalition for Combating Discrimination in Ukraine and the International Organization for Migration.
This is a pilot and network project. The project will include seminars on human rights and combating discrimination in three cities of Ukraine (Odessa, Pavlograd, Kherson) on basic of the Centers of legal information and consultation that provide free legal aid to the poor groups of society.
The project aims are:
1. Improving knowledge in the field of human rights and anti-discrimination policies, creating a culture of tolerance and combating xenophobia among the representatives of the government agencies.
2. Deepening knowledge and improving practical skills of the judges in the application of the European Conventions on Human Rights and the Law of Ukraine on discrimination.
4. Increasing the level of understanding of discrimination on the part of law enforcement.
5. Changing attitudes, behavior and standards of communication with citizens seeking help from the authorities and law enforcement.
In the conclusion of the seminars will be organized the roundtable and presentation of the analytical report on “Discrimination – causes, consequences and remedies” in the Secretariat of the Ukrainian Parliament Commissioner on Human Rights. The report will also be submitted to the Advisory Council of the Ombudsman for use in further work in preparing the annual report of the Ombudsman in the Parliament on the state of discrimination in Ukraine.
The Charitable Fund of information and education initiatives “Progress” together with others NGOs, supported by the International “Renaissance” Foundation from 2011 launched a program of access to primary legal aid system through the development of centers of legal information and consultation for people.
One aspect of the Centers are conducting information and educational activities for employees of government agencies, including law enforcement, to promote the ideas of human rights, non-discrimination; as the violation of human rights affects all aspects of life. Discrimination leads to social exclusion and marginalization of persons; that leads to such socio-economic impact in the community as a profound socio-economic stratification between groups of people, political and social instability, preserving poverty.
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PS: The centers of legal information and advice that provide free legal aid to Roma people working with the support of the “Roma of Ukraine“, International “Renaissance” Foundation. To learn more about the activities of a network of centers, foundations and principles of work visit the website www.legalspace.org under “Legal Empowerment of Roma communities.” The views in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the opinion of the International “Renaissance” Foundation and other civil, religious and political organizations and individuals.