In Poland, local government authorities are responsible for social policy towards minorities. Our studies in areas of cooperation between national minority, ethnic minority, and foreigner organizations with local government authorities have shown that there is no effective communication, which prevents cooperation and the possibility of any say in local government policy. There are also no institutional systems that build relationships between police stations and vulnerable groups, and no self-advocacy on the part of minorities in building those relationships. According to studies by the Commissioner for Human Rights and ODIHR, a mere 5% of hate crimes are reported.
The project aims to give minorities a true say in the activities of the authorities, and to promote minorities’ points of view with respect to solving social problems. Under the project, working with government authorities in Kraków, we will draw up a strategy for cooperation with, and inclusion within that strategy of groups at risk at discrimination and social exclusion. Prior to the project, a nationwide study will be conducted on best practices in minority self-advocacy, and self-advocacy training will be provided.
Working with the Voivodship Police Headquarters in Kraków, we will implement concepts for building a policy of cooperation with local minority communities. We will conduct training for 70 police officers, 15 government clerks, and 30 leaders of minority organizations. We will issue an information brochure for each of those groups. Using the knowledge and experience gained during the project implementation, we will devise a model for a strategy to support self-advocacy of minorities in Poland.
The partnership with the Kraków Municipal Authority Social Policy and Health Department will ensure that government clerks are active, while cooperation with the Voivodship Police will make it possible to select a group of officers who encounter the problem of hate speech and hate crime most frequently.