A brand-new volume providing fresh perspectives on various aspects of anti-LGBTI hate crime in Europe was published. The book, titled “Anti-LGBTI Hate Crime in Europe. Working papers on research, policy and practice ” and edited by Piotr Godzisz (Lambda Warsaw) and Giacomo Viggiani (University of Brescia), follows the international conference “Breaking the barriers”, held on September 2018 in Sofia, Bulgaria. Key topics include: hate crimes legislation on the books and in practice, training of hate crimes professionals, community outreach and reporting hate crime, recording hate crime, support services for hate crime victims and rights of hate crime victims.
The volume is designed to serve as a resource for scholars, policy makers and practitioners and to reach a broad range of readers; for this reason practice-based papers and an interview are included besides academic papers and legal analyses. “Hate crime is a problem that cannot be contained in one academic discipline or policy area. The only way to combat it effectively is by bringing together key stakeholders...” affirmed Godzisz. “All of them have something that they can bring to the table, be it experience, trust of the community, power, finance or research excellence, not to mention passion and commitment to the principle of human rights and equality” he added.
The book is divided into three parts dealing respectively with policy, research and practice.
Part I – Policy
This part focusing an policy includes three papers. In the first one Diana Kovacheva underlines that breaking the barriers and improving access to justice for victims of anti-LGBT hate crimes is not an easy task and requires concrete actions and serious public support.
In the second paper the authors, Elena Mujoska Trpevska and Kostantin Bitrakov, provide a critical analysis of the policy that Republic of Macedonia has undertaken or plans to undertake in order to tackle hate crimes more effectively.
The last paper, wrote by Jordan Long, is dedicated to the approach of the American Bar Association's Justice Works Program in tacking anti-LGBTI hate crime.
Part II – Research
This part provides fresh insights from research on hate crime in Europe. In the first paper, by Piotr Godzisz, the strategy of “boomerang advocacy”, implemented by Polish LGBT organizations to achieve leverage in anti-LGBT hate crime, is presented and discussed.
In the second paper of this part authors, Monika Pisankaneva, Giacomo Viggiani and Karolina Więckiewicz, show how anti-LGBT hate crimes can be addressed in jurisdictions (namely Bulgaria, Italy and Poland) where specific hate crime provisions covering SOGI are still lacking.
The third paper, by Jose Antonio Langarita Adiego, Pilar Albertín Carbó, Núria Sadurní Balcells and Antonia Dorado Caballero, is devoted to the training needs relating to anti-LGBT hate crimes in the 10 European countries participating in the Come Forward project. Underreporting, accessibility of reporting centres, identification of hate crimes are some of the topics explored by the authors.
Part III – Practice
The third part of the book covers issues connected with hate crime practice. The first one is a form of an interview where Tamas Dombos and Kitty Anderson discuss the topic of violence against intersex people.
A handout for delivering an interactive workshop on community outreach and enhancing LGBTQI people's legal consciousness on bias-motivated crimes, and related reporting, is provided in the paper authored by Bea Sándor and Szelim Simándi.
The last paper, by Tina Stavrinaki, illustrates the work and activities of the Racist Violence Recording Network established in Greece in 2011 to address the lack of effective data collection system as well as the obstacles in the access to justice for victims of hate crimes.
On 20-21 September 2018, 56 delegates from more than 13 countries met in Sofia, Bulgaria, at the international conference Breaking the Barriers: Improving Access to Justice for Victims of Anti-LGBT Hate Crimes to share their experiences and expertise on hate crimes. The results of this combined effort are now published in a volume dealing with various aspects of anti-LGBTI hate crime in Europe. “Considering an extensive range of themes, from training needs to the emerging topic of violence against intersex people, it seeks to bridge the gap between scholars, policy makers and practitioners at both country and European levels” said Viggiani.
Breaking the Barriers conference was a final meeting of the two-years project Come Forward: Empowering and Supporting Victims of Anti-LGBT Hate Crimes, co-funded by the European Commission and implemented in 10 European countries by a group of 22 organizations. The project, led by the Department of Law of the University of Brescia (coordinator) and the NGO Lambda Warsaw (scientific leader), aimed at addressing a common need throughout the EU to identify obstacles and help improve access to justice for victims of anti-LGBTI hate crime.
The volume “Anti-LGBTI hate crime in Europe. Working papers on research, policy and practice” can be downloaded by everyone from the website www.lgbthatecrime.eu