“Hate crime monitoring and victim assistance in Poland and Germany”

15 June 2009

For immediate release

Hate crime is a problem in both countries, more efforts are needed to monitor it and help the victims – says the Polish-German study published jointly by the Polish ‘NEVER AGAIN’ Association and the renowned German organization Opferperspektive.

The newly published English-language report results from a joint research project conducted by ‘NEVER AGAIN’ and Opferperspektive. More than 50 in-depth interviews were conducted with minority and NGO representatives, Polish and German mechanisms of hate crime monitoring and victim assistance were compared and assessed.

- ‘There are instruments to deal with racism and right-wing extremism in both German and Polish law, but the actual implementation is missing in Poland. Ethnic and religious minorities, migrants, gays and lesbians, as well as anti-fascists are among victims of extreme-right violence’ – said Dr. Rafal Pankowski, the Polish project coordinator, a social scientist at Collegium Civitas. – ‘Hate crime monitoring and victim assistance is left to non-governmental organizations and informal support groups’.

The book entitled ‘Hate Crime Monitoring and Victim Assistance in Poland and Germany’ was prepared by an international expert team consisting of Britta Grell, Timm Köhler, Rafal Pankowski, Natalia Sineaeva and Marcin Starnawski. The preface was written by Dr. Martin Salm, the chairman of the ‘Memory, Responsibility, Future’ Foundation. Experiences of the Polish-German project are going to be used in other East European countries, including the Ukraine.

- ‘We are happy to share our experiences with Ukrainian partners, especially in the run-up to the UEFA 2012 European Football Championship which brings together our countries facing a common challenge’ – said Rafal Pankowski.