European groups monitoring hate crimes win grants


BERLIN (JTA) — The European Commission has awarded about $322,000 to three Jewish organizations and an NGO that monitor and record hate crimes and incidents within the European Union.

The groups have formed a joint two-year project called "Facing Facts!" to confront hate crime and help other nongovernmental organizations, governments and police to improve their monitoring and reporting of such crimes, which are "a growing problem in the European Union," according to a statement announcing the grant Wednesday.

A manual for trainers will be the centerpiece of the project. Its other tasks will include the introduction of standardized criteria for collecting statistics; the training of victim-advocacy groups; holding governments accountable to international agreements; and improving intergroup cooperation.

EU member states are required to monitor and publish data on hate crime. The much broader membership of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe is required to monitor and combat anti-Semitism, but "these obligations are often unfulfilled," according to the announcement from the British-based Community Security Trust, one of the four awardees. The group provides security advice to the Jewish community of the United Kingdom.

The other awardees are the Brussels-based A Jewish Contribution to an Inclusive Europe; the Dutch Center for Documentation and Information Israel; and the Federation of Dutch Associations for the Integration of Homosexuality. A fifth group, the International Lesbian, Gay, Bi-sexual, Trans and Intersex Association, is an associate partner.

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