In the case of hate crime, the whole community becomes a victim”
Stephanos Stavros, Executive Secretary at the Council of Europe European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI)
Why do you care?
It is my job to care, since I am the secretary of the Commission Against Racism and Intolerance. We do monitoring reports on all the 47 members of the Council of Europe on racism and intolerance. Hate crime is the worst form of racism. This is one of the core issues we deal with.
What would be needed for the implementation of a victim centred approach in a European context?
When we deal with hate crime, the victims are what we have to think about. We have to understand the impact that hate crimes have on the victims, not only on the individual victims, but also on the whole community. In the case of hate crime, the whole community becomes a victim. Our job at ECRI is to find how different European countries deal with hate crimes and try to promote good practices among the members of the Council of Europe. The ECRI also makes general policy recommendations addressed to all member states. One of them has to do with criminal law in order to combat racism. I think that in these general policy recommendations one should think more about the role given to the victim.
What do you think is the added value of the Facing Facts! initiative?
It is a great initiative. What Facing Facts! has achieved here is to bring together all relevant actors: civil society organisations, independent organisations, national authorities dealing with victim questions and also international organisations. I liked very much the format of the conference, the fact that it was very much interactive, involving all the participants in intelligent ways. I congratulate you (CEJI) for this initiative.