Officials discussed the hate crime situation in Vilnius

Date

2020 02 13

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A round table discussion took place in Vilnius on the 11th of February 2020. During the meeting, police officers and prosecutors met with members of communities vulnerable to hate crime living in Vilnius and non-governmental organizations representing them.

The participants discussed the issues of hate crime and hate speech in Vilnius (nature of community vulnerability, the latency of hate crime, its causes, etc.), the needs of vulnerable communities and victims of hate crime and their expectations for the work of law enforcement officers, as well as ways to improve cooperation.

Meetings between local law enforcement and community representatives were also held in other cities: Šiauliai, Panevėžys, Klaipėda, Kaunas in January and February of 2020.

According to the panellists, such face-to-face meetings between law enforcement officers and community representatives contribute to increased confidence in law enforcement among vulnerable communities. The need for more frequent meetings of a similar nature was expressed.

These discussions were organized within the framework of the project “Strengthening Responses to Hate Crimes and Hate Speeches in Lithuania” funded by the European Union’s Rights, Equality and Citizenship Programme (2014-2020).

Based on the results of the Round Table and the qualitative study of communities vulnerable to hate crime carried out under the aforementioned project, practical guidelines for law enforcement officers will be developed on establishing and maintaining connections with communities vulnerable to hate crime and best means and forms of mutual cooperation.

Hate crime is any criminal offence motivated by hatred towards a group of persons or an individual person belonging to a group based on their age, gender, sexual orientation, disability, race, nationality, language, origin, social status, beliefs and views. This type of crime affects not only the individual but also the whole community to which he or she belongs or is associated with it.

 

Funded by the European Union’s Rights, Equality and Citizenship Programme (2014-2020).