René Cassin Statement on National Hate Crime Awareness Week

Posted on Wednesday, October 13th, 2021

This week is National Hate Crime Awareness week. We reflect and stand in solidarity with all those affected by hate crime, and we continue to campaign for humanity and equal rights for all.

Securing these rights means taking stock of individual acts of hate and violence and addressing the atmosphere of hate and intolerance that produces them. As a Jewish human rights charity, René Cassin is no stranger to society’s role in normalising intolerance, stigma, and discrimination. From casual stereotyping and careless media portrayals to prejudicial policy, the Jewish community’s experience keeps us vigilant to dehumanising behaviour. For this reason, René Cassin is resisting current legislation that seeks to write such hatred into law.

For refugees, asylum seekers, and our Gypsy and Traveller friends, proposed changes rely on mythic and misguided prejudices about these groups’ way of life. The proposed Nationality and Borders Bill punishes asylum seekers for how they flee prejudice and makes such prejudice harder to prove, reinforcing the stereotype of the ‘deceptive’ asylum seeker. Meanwhile the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill criminalises ‘unauthorised encampments’ for Gypsies and Travellers despite a chronic shortage of roadside camps, deepening existing economic and social marginalisation.

This year, to shine a light on hate crime we continue to work towards a society grounded in equality and solidarity. This is at the root of everything we do, mobilising, campaigners, community groups and faiths in our work every single day. In a pledge to #ReachOut for our rights, we will continue to work together to stand against hate and fight for hope.