Just & Safer Cities for All project
Acts of discriminatory violence, including hate-speech, have increased in a worrying way over the last few years in Europe. This phenomenon, which runs counter to the European Union’s Charter of Fundamental Human Rights, represents a real threat to democracy.
Data collected by the Fundamental Rights Agency (FRA) regularly show that violence and crime motivated by racism, xenophobia, religious intolerance or by a person’s disability, sexual orientation or gender identity, are a daily reality throughout the EU (FRA brief “Crimes motivated by hatred and prejudice in the EU,” March 2013). As shown by the FRA (EU-MIDIS survey of 23,500 respondents throughout Europe), in the 12 months preceding the survey, between 16% and 32% of Roma people and 19% and 3% of people of African origin were victim of assault, threat or serious harassment with a perceived racist motive.
Although racist, xenophobic and homophobic behaviours are officially criminal in all EU member states, they continue to happen, threatening social cohesion and citizens’ safety. Thus, in addition to legal and penal responses, it seems that preventive measures must be strengthened in order to combat this problem.
Due to their proximity to citizens, local authorities can play a particularly important role in terms of prevention and awareness-raising and can therefore contribute to creating a climate where discrimination, hate-speech and violence are not acceptable.
Thus, the European Forum for Urban Security (Efus, by its English acronym) has put into place the “Just & Safer Cities for All” project, in partnership with eight European organisations, in order to raise awareness among local authorities about preventing and fighting against acts of discriminatory violence and propose responses for them to implement at the local level.
With this objective in mind, a European call for practices has been launched in order to gather existing innovative initiatives on this topic at the local level. Fifty practices will be selected from this call to be published in a Manual of Best Practices. This manual will be disseminated across Europe in order to promote local actions and encourage local authorities to act.
The project will seek to:
- Increase knowledge amongst decision-makers and practitioners about the measures taken at a local level to counter acts of discriminatory violence.
- Increase awareness and mobilise local authorities and locally elected officials.
- Raise public awareness of incidents of acts of discriminatory violence.
- To gather promising local practices in Europe developed at local and regional level to fight and prevent acts of discriminatory violence.
- To analyse these practices: 50 practices will be selected to be included in a guidebook on best practices to locally fight and prevent acts of discriminatory violence.
- To organise a dissemination seminar during the Efus 2017 international conference.
- To develop local activities aimed at promoting tolerance and fighting discrimination in the countries of the partners of the project.
- Forum Italiano per la Sicurezza Urbana (FISU) – Italy
- Forum Belge pour la Prévention et la Sécurité Urbaine (FBPSU) – Belgium
- Fórum Español para la Prevención y la Seguridad Urbana (FEPSU) – Spain
- Forum Français pour la Sécurité Urbaine (FFSU) – France
- Institut für Konflikt Forschung (IKF) – Austria
- Associação Portuguesa de Apoio à Vítima (APAV) – Portugal
- UFUQ – Germany
- Jagellonian University of Krakow – Poland
27 months – From September 2015 to December 2017