May 2011From April 20–21, the ABA Rule of Law Initiative (ABA ROLI) held the first of a series of seminars for human rights defenders and representatives of ethnic minority organizations in Kyiv, Ukraine. The event brought together more than 25 representatives of various ethnic groups—including Afghanis, Roma, Kazakhs, Armenians and Jews—from the eastern part of Ukraine to exchange experiences and to learn more on protecting the rights of hate-crime victims.
In recent years there has been a marked increase in xenophobic and racially motivated attacks and incidents of hate crime against migrant and temporary foreign workers, foreign students and ethnic minorities. The seminar was meant to highlight effective strategies stakeholders could employ in tackling hate crimes and in assisting hate-crime victims.
Discussions covered the most common manifestations of xenophobia in the Ukrainian society and cooperation among various state and private institutions to address xenophobia as well as to promote diversity and tolerance. The training addressed various psychosocial and legal aspects of assistance to hate-crime survivors. Participants said that the training equipped them with “valuable knowledge on the steps that have to be taken in providing legal assistance to the victims and their representation.”
In addition to employing interactive exercises, the training was enlivened by case studies seminar participants presented based on experiences of their respective communities.
The remaining seminars will be held in June or July. ABA ROLI’s Program on Combating Racism and Xenophobia in Ukraine is funded by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor.
To learn more about our work in Ukarine, contact the ABA Rule of Law Initiative at [email protected].