BRESCIA and WARSAW, 22 JAN 2018 – The University of Brescia (Italy) and association Lambda Warsaw (Poland) launched their second transnational project on anti-LGBT hate crimes. The action, under the name Call It Hate: Raising Awareness of Anti-LGBT Hate Crime, has a budget of over €1 million and is co-funded by the European Commission. The project will be implemented over two years in 10 European countries by a consortium of almost 50 partner organizations.
The aim of the project Call It Hate is to help tackle the problem of violence based on sexual orientation and gender identity by improving reporting and encouraging the public to react if they witness homophobic or transphobic behaviours. “The level of reporting of hate crime targeting the LGBT community is really low in Europe. This means that people suffer in silence. The situation is particularly bad in countries where anti-LGBT hate crime is not recognized in the law, but underreporting is a problem everywhere. To tackle it, we need to raise awareness of the problem” – said Piotr Godzisz from Lambda Warsaw, scientific leader of the project.
The project will be divided in three parts. The first year is devoted to research measuring the awareness of anti-LGBT hate crime in Europe. “No one has ever measured what Europeans know about anti-LGBT hate crime, particularly on such a scale. Do they think it’s a serious problem? Is it common? This large scale quantitative research will help us find answers to such questions,” declared Giacomo Viggiani from the University of Brescia, the project’s co-coordinator.
Campaigns reaching 10 million people
The results of the research will inform the two other parts of the project: the awareness raising campaign, aimed at the general public, and outreach activities addressing the LGBT community. “Based on the results of the survey, national partners will organize public campaigns tailored to the local needs,” said Piotr Godzisz. “Combined, we will reach over 10 million people from the general public and over 1 million LGBT persons from 10 different countries,” he added. “This is the largest research and advocacy project on anti-LGBT hate crime in Europe so far. It encompasses over a third of the EU. It is rare that research on such a scale is conducted. Campaigns on such a scale are unheard of” - affirmed Giacomo Viggiani.
10 countries, almost 50 partners
The project will be implemented by a consortium of almost 50 partners, including research institutions, NGOs, public institutions, media and social networking platforms. The group includes: University of Brescia (Italy), Lambda Warsaw (Poland), Çavaria (Belgium), Bilitis (Bulgaria), GLAS (Bulgaria), Zagreb Pride (Croatia), Háttér (Hungary), LGL (Lithuania), University of Girona (Spain), Galop (United Kingdom), University of Limerick (Ireland), Transgender Equality Network (Ireland), Legebitra (Slovenia), University of Ljubljana (Slovenia), Avvocatura per i Diritti LGBTI (Italy), University of Bergamo (Italy), University of Milano-Bicocca (Italy), Anddos (Italy), Commissioner for Human Rights (Poland), National Bar Council - Human Rights Committee (Poland), Municipality of Gdansk (Poland), Tolerado (Poland), Stonewall Housing (United Kingdom), Municipality of Ljubljana (Slovenia), Association for Nonviolent Communication (Slovenia), Police Academy (Slovenia), ILGA-Europe, Human Rights House (Croatia), Ombudsperson for Gender Equality (Croatia), Police Academy (Croatia), State Attorney (Croatia), Network of Emancipation (Croatia), Hungarian Civil Liberties Union (Hungary), Hungarian Helsinki Committee (Hungary), Journalists for Tolerance (Lithuania), Human Rights Monitoring Institute (Lithuania), Bulgarian Lawyers for Human Rights (Bulgaria), DDB (Bulgaria), Huge.bg (Bulgaria), Dnevnik.bg (Bulgaria), One2One (Bulgaria), International Network for Hate Studies and Grindr. “We are particularly pleased to have media outlets and international partners, such as the INHS and Grindr, on board. They will help us reach respective target populations, ensuring the project’s visibility and impact,” said Piotr Godzisz.
In addition to partners from EU member states, the project includes the board of observers – organizations from Eastern European countries such as Sarajevo Open Centre (Bosnia-Herzegovina), Okvir (Bosnia-Herzegovina), Georgian Young Lawyers' Association (Georgia) and DOTYK (Belarus). “They will be able to participate in the most important parts of the project, which will help exchange knowledge and spread European values outside of the EU” – said Giacomo Viggiani.
Structured approach to tackling hate crime
Call It Hate complements the currently-implemented action Come Forward: Empowering and Supporting Victims of Anti-LGBT Hate Crimes, also led by the University of Brescia and Lambda Warsaw. Come Forward focuses on building capacity of institutions and organizations where victims can report hate crimes and access support services. By the end of 2018 over 1000 professionals will be trained to recognize anti-LGBT hate crimes and address the specific needs of LGBT victims in 10 countries. “We have a structured approach to tackling hate crime,” explained Piotr Godzisz. “First, we conduct research. Once we have a good understanding of the problem, we prepare a training curriculum and train professionals giving them necessary skills and sensitizing them. Then we encourage and empower victims and witnesses to come forward and report hate crimes. We believe that this approach has the most potential to work”.
Anti-LGBT hate crimes remains a problem across Europe. According to the survey conducted by the European Union Fundamental Rights Agency among LGBT people in the EU, more than a quarter (26%) of all respondents had been attacked or threatened with violence in the five years preceding the survey. This figure rises to 35% among transgender respondents. A majority of those who had experienced violence (59%) reported that the attack or threat of violence happened because they were perceived to be LGBT. At the same time, very few victims – an average of 17% in the EU – reported crimes to the police.
For more information about the projects Call It Hate: Raising Awareness of Anti-LGBT Hate Crime and Come Forward: Empowering and Supporting Victims of Anti-LGBT Hate Crimes go to www.lgbthatecrime.eu.
University of Brescia: Giacomo Viggiani – email@example.com
Lambda Warsaw: Piotr Godzisz – firstname.lastname@example.org.