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Recommendations for law enforcement officials on how to cooperate with communities vulnerable to hate crime

Date

2020 05 05

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In order to strengthen the links between law enforcement authorities and communities vulnerable to hate crime, a practical guide for law enforcement officers commissioned by the Ministry of the Interior was prepared and published under the title “Cooperation with communities vulnerable to hate crimes”.

This practical guide provides information on the communities most vulnerable to hate crime in Lithuania - Roma, Jews, Muslims, foreigners, the LGBTI community and people with disabilities. This information should contribute to better knowledge and understanding of these communities and as well as better recognition of hate crimes and deeper understanding of the impact of these crimes. Mutual understanding is the first and essential step towards effective cooperation based on mutual trust.

The practical guide was based on the round table discussions among local police officers, prosecutors and representatives of vulnerable communities that took place in Panevėžys, Šiauliai, Klaipėda, Kaunas and Vilnius in January and February of 2020, and the results of the Qualitative study of vulnerable hate crime communities conducted in 2019.

Human rights experts often refer to hate crimes as crimes that encroach on the core of a person’s identity. Hate crimes send a message to the victim and his or her community as a whole that they do not belong in society because of their identity, are not desired in it and are not equal members of it. For victims hate crimes evoke feelings of insecurity, tension, force them to hide their identities, shut themselves off, or even  emigrate. These crimes have a high moral and psychological cost.

It is expected that this practical guide will help law enforcement officers to bond with hate crime communities and thus strengthen the overall response and prevention of such crimes.

The practical guide was prepared within the framework of the project “Strengthening Response to Hate Crimes and Hate Speech in Lithuania” funded by the European Union’s Rights, Equality and Citizenship Programme (2014–2020). Project partners: Ministry of the Interior of the Republic of Lithuania (coordinator), Prosecutor General's Office of the Republic of Lithuania and the Office of the Inspector of Journalistic Ethics.

The practical guide can be found here: Practical Guide

 

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

 

 

 

 

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