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Political leaders have central role to play in countering racism and hate crime

Monday 24 March 2014
News from EU institutions

Political will and leadership are vital to countering racism, discrimination and hate crime, the heads of three intergovernmental human rights institutions said today in a joint statement on the occasion of the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.

Ambassador Janez Lenarčič, Director of the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR), Christian Ahlund, Chair of the Council of Europe’s European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI), and Morten Kjaerum, Director of the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA), stressed that the opportunities enjoyed by political leaders to shape opinions and set agendas come with a responsibility to unequivocally denounce expressions of racism and combat xenophobia and related intolerance. 

The failure to counter racism in an outspoken and effective manner contributes to further marginalisation and vulnerability of the individuals and communities targeted, they said. In addition, it risks giving the perpetrators of racially motivated crimes a sense of impunity.

Click here to read the press release


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