A network comprised of law enforcement institutions and Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) from the Western Balkans and Eastern Partnership regions was launched on 24 October. The creation of this network aims to improve the response of law enforcement institutions to hatred and discrimination, through trained multipliers of a human-rights based policing approach.
During a three-day training workshop on addressing racism through the work of law enforcement institutions and CSOs, more than 60 participants exchanged good practices and challenges related to promoting equality and diversity based on European standards and tools. An important message was shared as part of these exchanges: "it is essential to help police build trust with communities. CSO can play an important role in this respect”.
Participants were introduced to the recently published training manual ‘’Police Education for Equality and Non-Discrimination at local level’’, a practical tool providing guidelines on how to embed diversity principles in the work of law enforcement effectively, prevent, identify, and investigate hate crimes while safeguarding victims’ proper treatment throughout all stages of the process; develop trust with local communities, through CSO engagement. In this context, engaged partners reaffirmed that: “discrimination and racism can be prevented and tackled only by joint efforts through the creation of appropriate legislative, inter-institutional and social mechanisms”.
This event is part of the European and Council of Europe joint programmes “Horizontal Facility for the Western Balkans and Türkiye” and its action “Promoting equality and combatting racism in the Western Balkans”, and the “Partnership for Good Governance” and its project “Promoting equality and non-discrimination: towards more resilient and inclusive societies”, co-funded by the European Union and the Council of Europe and implemented by the Council of Europe.