The fight against racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia
National Research University - Higher School of Economics
Department of Public Policy
Political Analysis of Human Rights in Global Context
The Fight Against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia.
Analyses of The Effectiveness of The Music against Racism Campaign in Poland.
Student: Maria Oborina
643 (2) group
1. The Fight Against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia. Description of the problem.
1.1 Background 3
1.2 International human rights instruments 3
1.3 Hate Crimes 6
1.4 Cross-cultural Dialogue 8
II. Analyses of the Effectiveness of The Music Against Racism Campaign in Poland.
1.1 Why Such Campaign is Necessary 10
1.2 A Description of the Campaign and Strategy 13
1.3 How the Campaign Can Be "Successful" 14
The Fight Against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia.
Description of the problem.
Racial discrimination, xenophobia and other forms of intolerance continue to ravage our societies. As racial discrimination and ethnic violence grow in complexity, they become more of a challenge for the international community. Horrors such as "ethnic cleansing" have emerged in recent years, while ideas of racial superiority have spread to new media like the Internet. Even globalization carries risks that can lead to exclusion and increased inequality, very often along racial and ethnic lines.  We must recognize that discrimination against immigrants and against domestics migrants, anti-semitism are part of modern society.
International human rights instruments
Since the adoption in 1948 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the international community has made some advances in the fight against racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia. A big set of international laws have been enacted and numerous international human rights instruments have been adopted.
- International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (New York, 7 March 1966)
- International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families (New York, 18 December 1990)
The Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD) is the body of independent experts that monitors implementation of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination by its State parties. The body of independent experts that monitors implementation of the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families by its State parties is The Committee on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of their Families (CMW).
All States parties are obliged to submit regular reports to The Committee on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of their Families and The Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination on how the rights are being implemented. States must report initially one year after acceding to the Conventions and then every five years. The Committee will examine each report and address its concerns and recommendations to the State party in the form of “concluding observations”.
In addition to the reporting procedure, the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination establishes three other mechanisms through which the Committee performs its monitoring functions: the early-warning procedure, the examination of inter-state complaints and the examination of individual complaints.
The Committee on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of their Families, The Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination will also, under certain circumstances, be able to consider individual complaints or communications from individuals claiming that their rights under the Conventions have been violated. The convention has been ratified by 42 states and 16 states have signed it.
Another element of an UN international system of protection The United Nations Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance.
The OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights is active throughout the OSCE area in the fields of election observation, democratic development, human rights, tolerance and non-discrimination, and rule of law. The Tolerance and Non-Discrimination Programme was launched in 2004. According to the main issues The ODIHR is specifically tasked to:
Serve as a collection point for information, statistics and legislation received from OSCE States on hate crimes;
Collect and disseminate best practices for responding to and combating hate crimes and for promoting tolerance and respect throughout the OSCE region;
Monitor incidents of racism, xenophobia, anti-Semitism and other forms of intolerance, including against Muslims, Christians and members of other religions;
Offer assistance and support to OSCE participating States and civil society in their efforts to combat racism, xenophobia and anti-Semitism and other forms of intolerance.
The overall goals of the Programme are to support OSCE participating States and civil society in their efforts to:
Combat hate crimes and violent manifestations of racism, xenophobia, anti-Semitism and other forms of intolerance including against Muslims, Christians and members of other religions;
Promote intercultural understanding and a respect for diversity;
Ensure freedom of thought, conscience, religion or belief. 
The European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI) is entrusted with the task of combating racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia, antisemitism and intolerance in greater Europe from the perspective of the protection of human rights, in the light of the European Convention on Human Rights, its additional protocols and related case-law (Article 1 of ECRI’s Statute).
ECRI’s objectives are: to review member states’ legislation, policies and other measures to combat racism, xenophobia, antisemitism and intolerance, and their effectiveness; to propose further action at local, national and European level; to formulate general policy recommendations to member states; to study international legal instruments applicable in the matter with a view to their reinforcement where appropriate.
But in spite of this international human rights instruments victims in many countries, including Russia, continue to suffer from violence on the basis of their ethnic origin or religious affiliation.
Hate crimes continue to be a serious problem all over the world. (“Hate speech” follows the definition of Amnesty International, which states that “hate speech” comprises any statement or activity that incites nationalist, racist or religious hatred and calls, directly or indirectly, for violence, exclusion and intolerance).
The dramatic rise in homophobic, racist and anti-Semitic violence in many European countries over the past decades lends new urgency to the issue of combating discrimination and hate crimes. For example, Poland and Germany, two neighboring countries with a particularly difficult historical relationship are no exception in this respect. Both have seen extreme nationalistic movements and right-wing organizations and parties gain influence inside and outside the parliaments over the past few years. Furthermore, various studies and public-opinion polls indicate that both are challenged by a wide range of intolerance and ethnic and religious biases within the population.  In Russia during the period from January till July 2010, 90 attacks motivated by aggressive xenophobia were committed and 22 dead and 105 wounded at least were their results. (overview of the Moscow Bureau for Human Rights). Hate crimes attacks by ultranationalist, fascist groups, skinheads, football fans.
According to different NGO reports to the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination the government should promptly investigate all allegations of torture, ill-treatment and other race-related abuses by agents of the state and ensure protection against any form of intimidation, harassment or abuse. Consider establishing a commission of inquiry into cases and patterns of race-related ill-treatment. State statistical reports must include data on the number and results of hearings in civil, as well as administrative and criminal cases arising in relation to discrimination and incitement to racial, national or religious hatred.
Sometimes problem is not only in a desire not to spoil the statistics but in unprofessional investigation of Hate Crime. Elizabeth Howe, General Counsel, International Association of Prosecutors said “Hate Crime can only be prosecuted effectively if there is reliable and relevant evidence. Well informed training for criminal justice practitioners is essential can make a real difference.” 
It is necessary to develop a special programs and seminars for prosecutors, policeman and judges to detect and investigate Hate Crime.
NGO reports to the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination Compliance also recommends include cross-cultural awareness and anti-racism programs into the selection, training and monitoring of justice officials. Institute comprehensive training and performance monitoring programmers to ensure that all officials, including law enforcement officers, do not act in a discriminatory way.
Helen Keller, American author, wrote “The highest result of education is tolerance.” Nowadays history interpretations became reasons of conflicts. School education provides our main knowledge about history of countries, reasons and results of wars, historical figures and national heroes. Propaganda and distortion of facts at school play important role in creating “the enemy”. History and geography education mustn’t be full of stereotypes and prejudices, wrong interpretations.
The Council of Europe appealed to history professionals asking them to follow three main principles: history without propaganda, history without prejudices, and history based only on real facts.
Education is the most effective means of preventing intolerance. Educational organization, public centers and NGOs should promote respect for human rights and the fight against racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia among young people, support the cultural and language pluralism and give background knowledge about development of racism in society.
Antidiscrimination campaigns of large NGOa and small active groups have to play a major role in fight against discrimination and encouraging cross-cultural dialogue. They could support to introduce into the national legislation antidiscrimination articles and stop the countrywide campaign of persecutions against ethnic minorities. Some of this campaigns more effective and really change the situation, some do not reach the goal.
Analyses of the effectiveness of a campaign against racism, racial discrimination and xenophobia will be review in the second part of this paper.
Analyses of the Effectiveness of
The Music Against Racism Campaign in Poland.
Why Such Campaign is Necessary
A lot of charitable and educational organizations all over the world try to influence on minds of modern people and get them thinking about the problem of discrimination on race. Racism and discrimination are the global problem, which make themselves felt in different areas of our everyday life.
Social campaigns against racism appeal to education, arguing that the cause of racism is ignorance. Сampaigns have focused on the fact that we must treat all people as separate individuals.
Power of music is very strong, espesially for young people. It is not a secret that numerous youth subcultures use music in case of “white supremacy” and in the spread of hatred. Theirs music contains neo-Nazi symbols of racism and anti-semitic slogans and becomes significant recruiting tool.
That is why it is important to provide campaigns against racism, racial discrimination and xenophobia in sphere of music, it allows us to speak with young people in one language.
Campaigns in this sphere could be very different. For example, Turn It Down Campaign seeks to create a culture that is immune to the hatred and violence that white power music represents by teaming with young people, parents and teachers, and the record industry. Thousands of young people and hundreds of bands, record labels, distributors, pressing facilities, and booking agents have joined to work against the spread of hatred.Turn It Down is on Myspace; Myspace maintains a policy banning content which “is patently offensive and promotes racism, bigotry, hatred or physical harm of any kind against any group or individual.” 
Nothing could affect moods of a society so strongly, as creativity. There are no doubts that voices of creatively gifted people - musicians, actors, artists - sounded and, probably, will always sound more convincingly, rather than voices of politicians and officials.
The most famous of such campaigns was Rock Against Racism - a campaign set up in Great Britain in 1976. The campaign involved pop, rock, reggey musicians staging concerts with an anti-racism theme, in order to discourage young people from embracing racist views. The campaign was founded, in part, as a response to statements and activities by well-known rock musicians that were widely regarded as racist. Rock Against Racism was reborn in 2002 in London as Love Music Hate Racism. Love Music Hate Racism was set up in response to rising levels of racism and electoral successes for the Nazi British National Party. «We use the energy of our music scene to celebrate diversity and involve people in anti-racist and anti-fascist activity as well as to urge people to vote against fascist candidates in elections.»
From that time many famous musicians, actors, artists unite to oppose racism and discrimination. And many of similar campaigns became are a part European-Wide Action Week Against Racism, which provide European Network Against Nationalism, Racism, Fascism and in support of migrants and refugees «UNITED».
UNITED is a network that connects organisations across Europe to raise awareness of intercultural action and respect, lobby political institutions and provide information, support, contacts and advice. The UNITED network provides an exchange-platform for organisations to get connected and share expertise. Understanding common problems in different contexts enables activists to develop creative actions on all levels: regional, national and international
According to UNITED the best way to stop racism is to get to know each other and to learn from common experience. Every organisation is an expert in its field and in its region, all sharing the same goals. Strengthening these existing intercultural relations between civil societies, minority groups and political and economical actors is UNITED’s most important target.
The 21st of March was declared the “International Day for the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination” by the General Assembly of the United Nations as a reaction to the murder of 69 anti-apartheid demonstrators in Sharpeville, South-Africa, in 1960. UNITED initiated the European-Wide Action Week Against Racism approximally on the 21st of March in 1992 to protest against current forms of racism and discrimination and to promote diversity, intercultural dialogue and mutual understanding. Racism and discrimination are not just local issues, but have a European dimension, which is why they have to be fought on all levels: local, national and European. The best way to stop racism is to get to know each other and to learn from common experience. Every organisation is an expert in its field and in its region, all sharing the same goals. Strengthening these existing intercultural relations between civil societies, minority groups and political and economical actors is UNITED’s most important target. 
A Description of the Campaign and Strategy
The Music against Racism campaign in Poland (2010) was inspired by Rock against Racism in 70s, in Great Britain and became a European-Wide Action Week Against Racism 2010.
Never Again Association (NGO Nigdy Wiecej) provide concerts featuring famous Polish rock and pop groups under the motto “Music against Racism” were also held in different big and small Polish cities. 
Targets of the campaign were to attract attention to the problems of racism, racial discrimination and xenophobia in Polish society, intolerance in a music and to speak about this problem openly.
The Music against Racism campaign in Poland says about the issues which are important for every citizen, but especially for victims of discrimination and hate crime, for immigrants and domestics migrants. 96.7% of the people of Poland claim Polish nationality (according to Polish population Census 2002). Ethnic minorities: Germans, Jews, Greeks, Roma constitute only three percent of the population and they and there rights are hardly visible in the mass media. The campaign which covers the entire country also can be useful for independent nongovernmental organizations which provide antifascist and antiracist initiatives.
According to Report 2010 The European-Wide Action Week Against Racism, during the activities signatures were collected for the petition and there was also the option to sign an online internet. A plea to sign the appeal was also sent to international partners. Through managing to actively involve Polish celebrities, respected intellectuals and famous artists Never Again Association has attracted more public attention.
As part of the Polish campaign, several compilation CDs have been released by the Never Again Association in cooperation with independent music labels, featuring well-known Polish and foreign rock bands, and Music against Racism concerts have been organized. One such event, the environmentalist and anti-racist Przystanek Woodstock Festival gathered a massive crowd of 250,000 young people who responded enthusiastically to the anti-racist message. Many musicians made antifascist statements from stage and the Never Again information booth was busy throughout the three-day festival. The event was repeated successfully in August 2002 with the strong presence of Never Again and its proactive anti-racist campaigning.
More than 100 concerts were held under the banner of Music against Racism all over Poland and many of the organizers were members of Never Again's information network. At other numerous concerts (of all musical styles!) anti-racist information desks were set up by activists encouraging young people to reflect on the issue of racism and intolerance. 
How the Campaign Can Be "Successful"
On the one side, a big plus of such events: a free part and a large auditorium. Such campaigns unite artists and their fans, and uses the energy of music involve people in anti-racist and anti-fascist activity.
But on the other side, I think that the campaign "Music Against Racism" in Poland (like many others in Europe and in Russia) was short-lived and did not use its full potential.
In my opinion, a strategy to achieve full and effective equality could be successful it needs the following things:
1. The campaign "Music Against Racism" should not be confined to a special date (for example “International Day for the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination”). This campaign should be year-round and include a range of activities events, from large outdoor festivals to local gigs and club nights.
2. The campaign should include a big set of round-tables, experts seminars and discussions with famous people and their fans. This event should focus on issues such issues as discrimination against immigrants and against domestics migrants, anti-semitism, protection of minorities, ethnic conflicts. Otherwise, it will be just “a free concert”. But this campaign should let people reflect about the issues raised.
3. I could not find a web-site or blog of this campaign. Nowdays social networks that bring together thousands of people from different countries, different ages and interests are very accessible and effective resource.
4. It would be good if in future such campaign will be not only musical event, but also consist of exhibitions, performances etc. This will attract a new audience on raise issues.
These recommendations will create not just a good campaign but national movement against racism and fascism through music, so it's vital everyone get involved however they can. It gives all participants inspiration to go on with their everyday struggle against intolerance and pays attention to the important antifascist and antiracist initiatives in Poland.
1. Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination: ;
2. European Network Against Nationalism, Racism, Fascism and in support of migrants and refugees «UNITED»:
3. Hate Crime Laws. A Practical Guide/ Published by the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR); Warsaw, Poland:
4. History Interpretation as a Cause of Conflicts in Europe:
5. Never Again Association: ;
6. NGO report to the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination Compliance of the Russian Federation with the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (updated in March 2008) ;
7. Overview of the Moscow Bureau for Human Rights:
8. Report Hate Crime Monitoring and Victim Assistance in Poland and Germany; Berlin 2009
9. Report The European-Wide Action Week Against Racism, 2010. Available from:
10. The European Commission against Racism and Intolerance:
11. The OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights :
12. The World Conference against racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance:
13. Turn It Down Campaign:
14. Turn It Down on Myspace :
15. Love Music Hate Racism Campaign:
16. Ed Vulliamy. Blood and glory. The Observer Sunday 4 March 2007. Available from
 The World Conference against racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance:
 Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination:
 The OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights :
The European Commission against Racism and Intolerance:
 Report Hate Crime Monitoring and Victim Assistance in Poland and Germany; Berlin 2009
 Overview of the Moscow Bureau for Human Rights:
 NGO report to the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination Compliance of the Russian Federation with the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (updated in March 2008)
 Hate Crime Laws. A Practical Guide/ Published by the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and
Human Rights (ODIHR); Warsaw, Poland
 NGO report to the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination Compliance of the Russian Federation with the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination
 History Interpretation as a Cause of Conflicts in Europe:
 Turn It Down Campaign:
 Turn It Down on Myspace :
Ed Vulliamy. Blood and glory The Observer Sunday 4 March 2007. Available from
 Love Music Hate Racism Campaign:
 European Network Against Nationalism, Racism, Fascism and in support of migrants and refugees «UNITED»
 Report The European-Wide Action Week Against Racism, 2010. Available from:
 European Network Against Nationalism, Racism, Fascism and in support of migrants and refugees «UNITED»
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