The OSCE’s Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) will be organizing a side event called “Addressing Anti-Religious Hate Crime in the OSCE Area.” This event is scheduled to take place on October 5 2023 from 2;00 p.m. to 3;00 p.m. at Meeting Room 1 – Belweder in Sofitel Hotel of Warsaw. The main objective of this event is to address the increasing concern about intolerance and hate crimes targeting groups within the OSCE region.
These incidents not only jeopardize individual safety but also undermine social unity often leading to violence and larger disputes. The event will emphasize the importance of establishing a security framework that fully respects, protects and upholds freedom of religion or belief. This principle plays a role in fostering positive relationships among participating states within the OSCE and forms an integral part of its security concept.
During the event, there will be discussions on aspects related to anti-religious hate crimes in the OSCE area. This includes analyzing how such incidents are reported and dealt with. Additionally, attention will be given to ODIHR’s upcoming resources, like community security guides and factsheets. Furthermore, gender-related dimensions of religious hate crimes will also be addressed.
The ODIHR with the support of the FoRB Roundtable Brussels EU is hosting an event conducted in English.
Tatjana Perić, an Adviser specializing in combating racism and xenophobia at OSCE/ODIHR will be moderating the panel. The esteemed panellists include Eric Roux, Co-Chair of FoRB Roundtable Brussels EU; Christine Mirre, Director of CAP Freedom of Conscience; Alexander Verkhovskiy, Director of the SOVA Research Center; Isabella Sargsyan, Program Director at Eurasia Partnership Foundation and a member of ODIHR Panel of Experts on Freedom of Religion or Belief; and Ivan Arjona Pelado, President of the European Office of the Church of Scientology for Public Affairs and Human Rights.
The event will end with a statement from Kishan Manocha, Head of Tolerance and Non-Discrimination at OSCE/ODIHR.
The speakers possess experience and expertise in various fields such as political extremism, nationalism, xenophobia, religion and politics misuse prevention regarding anti-extremism policies. They are also well-versed in human rights issues, freedom of religion and belief matters. Additionally skilled in conflict transformation among areas. These individuals have dedicated their careers to tackling discrimination and intolerance. Undoubtedly their insightful contributions will shed light on the issue surrounding anti-religious hate crimes, within the OSCE region.
The upcoming event is expected to serve as an opportunity for discussions and initiatives aimed at combating hate crimes based on religious beliefs. It represents a move towards fostering inclusivity, understanding and the protection of religious freedom, within the OSCE region.
The event will conclude with a closing statement from Kishan Manocha, Head of Tolerance and Non-Discrimination at OSCE/ODIHR, summarizing the key takeaways and emphasizing the importance of concerted efforts to combat anti-religious hate crimes in the OSCE area.
In a world where religious diversity should be celebrated and protected, this event serves as a crucial platform for dialogue, knowledge sharing, and collaborative action to combat anti-religious hate crimes and promote tolerance, understanding, and freedom of religion or belief within the OSCE region.