Conference on prevention of torture and hate speech
Swiss Ambassador Jean-Daniel Ruch says a priority of the Swiss OSCE chairmanship are stronger ties with civil society and promotion of its active involvement.Source: Tanjug
Ruch spoke in a two-day regional conference focusing on strengthening the role of civil society organizations (CSOs) in the Western Balkans in preventing torture and fighting hate speech, especially against Roma, which started in Belgrade today.
“National preventive mechanisms to combat torture, such as the one in Serbia, are an example of constructive interaction between government and civil society in this field,” Ruch said.
Ambassador Peter Burkhard, head of the OSCE Mission to Serbia, said that the OSCE encourage CSOs to shed light on hate crime and torture.
“Civil society can play a decisive role in identifying cases of torture and hate crime, facilitating dialogue and building trust between citizens and relevant state authorities responsible to pursue such cases,” he added.
The discussion brought together some 50 representatives from regional CSOs and Ombudspersons’ offices, the OSCE said in a release.
The workshop was organized jointly by the 2014 Swiss OSCE Chairmanship and the Civic Solidarity Platform, including its co-founder the Helsinki Committee for Human Rights in Serbia, with the support of the OSCE Mission to Serbia.
The Belgrade event is the first in a series of four regional workshops that will also be organized in Vienna, Tbilisi and Dushanbe.
The outcome of the workshops will be compiled in a set of recommendations for the Civil Society Conference in the context of the Ministerial Council in Basel to be held in December 2014, said the release.
Under the motto “Creating a Security Community for the benefit of everyone,” the Swiss OSCE Chairmanship is engaged in a dialogue with civil society to steer the implementation of OSCE commitments with a view to improving people’s lives, the release added.