News from 'NEVER AGAIN' Association

6 January 2010

The East Europe Monitoring Centre was set up by the Warsaw-based 'NEVER AGAIN' Association and the Football Against Racism in Europe (FARE) network with UEFA's support in 2009. It monitors racism and xenophobia across the region in the lead-up to EURO 2012.

This year the Centre pays special attention to the situation in Ukraine, in cooperation with local monitoring and advocacy organizations.

The FARE Eastern European Development Project administered by the 'NEVER AGAIN' Association includes a small grants pool for local anti-racist organizations in Poland and Ukraine. In 2009/2010 the whole available amount has been devoted to support Ukrainian initiatives against xenophobia and racist extremism. Ukrainian organizations will have the possibility to continue and expand their activities towards 2012.

The following organizations have been supported: the East European Development Institute, the 'No Borders' Social Action Centre, the Social Alternative and Stand Together Initiative (joint proposal), and the Crimean Tatar Youth Centre. Planned activities include the monitoring of racist incidents in Ukrainian stadiums, the preparation of a manual on hate signs used in sports, training of stewards and fans to identify hate symbols, street football tournaments with the participation of ethnic minorities and refugees, the production of a video on racism and anti-racism in Ukraine, and the promotion of anti-racism in the Crimea region. A local monitoring and educational project in Lviv is being discussed with a local partner, too.

The 'NEVER AGAIN' Association is going to assist and advise each of the projects throughout their implementation. "We are happy to expand our activities in Ukraine in 2010. It is clear there is a need for improved hate crime monitoring and anti-racist awareness-raising at a critical juncture in Ukrainian history" - said Dr Rafal Pankowski, the East Europe Monitoring Centre coordinator.

"We need to emphasize the social dimensions of EURO2012, it is a historic event for our civil society" - said Dr Mridula Ghosh, Chair of the East European Development Institute in Kiev, one of the East Europe Monitoring Centre partners.

Video with glimpses of racist behaviour at Ukrainian stadiums: