21 March 2013

On the eve of the UN-declared International Day Against Racism, the anti-racist 'NEVER AGAIN' Association presented its activities in the Polish Parliament, at the special invitation of the Parliamentary Committee on National and Ethnic Minorities.

POLISH PARLIAMENTARY COMMITTEE CELEBRATES ANTI-RACISM DAY WITH NEVER AGAIN Members of 'NEVER AGAIN' – Anna Tatar, Rafal Pankowski, and Jacek Purski – described the work of the association as a part of the European-wide civil society movement against racism and xenophobia. Results of the regular hate-crime monitoring activity by 'NEVER AGAIN' and its grass-roots community correspondents' network were presented. The findings of the newly published 'Brown Book 2011-2012' (authored by 'NEVER AGAIN' chairman Marcin Kornak), a register of over 600 hate crimes and hate speech incidents, were presented in detail.

The session was well attended by MPs, government officials, representatives of minority groups, and media. It coincided with the European-wide Week Against Racism proclaimed by the international network UNITED for Intercultural Action.

'NEVER AGAIN' members pointed to a noticeable rise in discriminatory acts and ideologically motivated violence against various minority groups, including ethnic and religious minorities, gays and lesbians, as well as against human rights defenders and opponents of the extreme right.

- 'The evidence you have gathered is very strong indeed. These problems are genuine. I salute your work and assure you of our whole-hearted support. The responsibility of political leaders is crucial' – said Miron Sycz MP, the Committee chairman, a member of the Civic Platfom party (PO). Mr Sycz is also a well-known minority rights spokesman and a member of the Council of the Union of Ukrainians in Poland.

The ‘NEVER AGAIN’ Association is an independent anti-racist educational and monitoring organization established in Poland in 1996. In 2009, in cooperation with UEFA and the FARE network ‘NEVER AGAIN’ set up the East Europe Monitoring Centre documenting racism and xenophobia across the region. In 2012, it implemented the 'Respect Diversity – Football Unites' social responsibility project accompanying the European Football Championships in Poland and Ukraine.

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