A Thematic Conference on Hate Crime motivated by racial and religious prejudice
Keynote Speakers include :
Cabinet Secretary for Justice Humza Yousaf MSP
Professor Duncan Morrow
Dr. Maureen McBride
BEMIS Scotland and partners including Police Scotland and the Scottish Government recognise that hate crime, prejudice and hostility towards citizen’s different identities and characteristics, as defined in the Equality Act (2010) and others, are complex and variable. Experience of prejudice can change in different situations and identity is not static. Our conference is open to all people to attend from across the equalities community and beyond.
In September 2016 the Scottish Government published the report of the ‘Independent Advisory Group on Hate Crime, Prejudice and Community Cohesion’. This Independent Advisory Group was led by Professor Duncan Morrow and they produced a number of recommendations, including:
- Establish a national multi-agency delivery group with Ministerial oversight to take forward the implementation of the Advisory Group’s recommendations.
- Engage in dialogue around definitions and terminology, taking account of any conclusions that Lord Bracadale’s review of hate crime legislation may offer in this regard.
- Work through the Race Equality Framework to engage with minority ethnic communities in building community cohesion and safety, and improving the lives of Scotland’s minority ethnic communities.
Following on from this report, in May 2018 the Scottish Government published Lord Bracadale’s ‘Independent Review of Hate Crime Legislation in Scotland’. Lord Bracadale’s recommendations included but were not reserved to:
- Recommendation 1 Statutory aggravations should continue to be the core method of prosecuting hate crimes in Scotland.
- Recommendation 6 I do not consider it necessary to create a statutory aggravation to cover hostility towards a political entity.
- Recommendation 18 Section 50A (Covering Racial aggravations) of the Criminal Law (Consolidation) (Scotland) Act 1995 should be repealed
What do we want to achieve?
We have invited keynote speakers to address the conference on their areas of expertise. We believe they have something important to outline in relation to challenging hate and prejudice and are convinced it would be beneficial for collaborative working between the Scottish Government, Police Scotland, community stakeholders and others to achieve this.
We have also included at the heart of the conference, a ‘Voices from our community’ session. This is a key focus of the event. We need to work together as communities, to challenge the issues which arise and show solidarity with those insimilar positions.
This is why our conference offers multiple opportunities to engage directly with key people and for your voice or questions to be heard.
We also recognise that it is important to understand and hear the experiences of those from other equality communities, who face challenges similar in nature to racial and religious minorities. Our afternoon session with the broader equalities community aims to hearvoices from other groups, some of whom will share multiple characteristics and look to build a platform of solidarity and understanding.
The learnings and outcomes from this conference will be used to inform:
- The Advisory Group on Tackling Prejudice and Building Connected Communities
- The Race Equality Framework for Scotland
- The themes for the Tackling Prejudice and Building Connected Communities Conference 2019