Praxis Watch

Tuesday, 15 March 2016

How We Fight against Hate Crime

What is hate crime? Why is it important to make clear distinction between hate crime and other crimes? What is the role of the local community in fight against hate crime? 

In the period from 22 December 2015 to 26 February 2016, Praxis visited Valjevo, Nis, Kraljevo, Sabac and Pancevo and organized a series of trainings named Hate crime in Serbia. 

The trainings gathered 40 participants – representatives of NGO sector, social welfare centres, police and courts – and opened a number of discussions about the problems faced by victims of hate crime, criminal procedures conducted for hate oriented attacks, role of local community in fight against hate crime and importance of registering such cases. 

What should we know?

  • hate crime is a criminal act 
  • hate crime was introduced in the Criminal Code of the Republic of Serbia in 2012
  • hate crime is not caused by acting of a victim, but its innate qualities, or personal characteristics, such as national or ethnic origin, colour of skin, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity
  • psychological and physical violence occurs as a result of intolerance and hatred
  • any of us may be a victim of hate crime and we all have traits that make us different from others

 Why is it important to talk about hate crime?

  • hate crime is a crime of high social risk, also called a message crime by some
  • responsibilities of state institutions, but also the responsibilities of the society and individuals are to encourage tolerance, instead of hate messages to send messages of understanding and support, through exploring and understanding the other and different to say NO to stereotypes and prejudices and thus prevent the occurrence of hate crimes
  • the task of state institutions is that if such criminal act occurs, there is an appropriate reaction meaning that the criminal act is adequately processed and registered and perpetrator properly punished

For more information, see: How We Fight against Racism, Discrimination and Intolerance: How We Fight against Hate Crime

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