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Official launch of police brochure in Albania on policing discrimination and hate crimes against LGBTI persons

31 March 2021

On this International Transgender Day of Visibility 2021, the Netherlands Helsinki Committee (NHC) in cooperation with the Albanian State Police, the Police Academy and Faculty of Security and Investigation, and with the support of ALEANCA LGBTI and Pro-LGBT, launch an informative brochure on policing hate crime and discrimination against LGBTI persons.

The brochure functions as a guideline for police officers on how to react in order to follow up on incidents of hate crime and discrimination against LBGTI persons effectively and appropriately and is based on the Council of Europe Manual. An important topic that is addressed is how and why it is important to incorporate a victim-centred approach.

In their work, police officers should never underestimate this category of victims [victims of discrimination and hate crimes based on their sexual orientation] but rather support them from the first moments of their complaint [in accordance with the requirements of the procedure legislation]. Simple and understandable language, creating credibility, rigorously respecting professional ethics and human dignity, are essential elements to ensure protection and the taking of appropriate measures. – Prof.Dr.Ilirjan Mandro, Dean of the Faculty of Security and Investigation.

In line with raising awareness for the International Transgender Day of Visibility, the brochure also includes a special focus on supporting the transgender community, who are more often victim of hate crimes and continue to experience discrimination – even by police officers. It is extremely important for police to understand and recognise this in order to be able to provide security and access to justice in an inclusive and non-discriminatory way. Concrete cooperation between the police and civil society organisations is also encouraged in the brochure.

The manual itself and the accompanying brochures are a good didactic basis for the teaching staff, to use it as literature for candidate police officers as well as the ongoing training of career staff. The brochure gives quick and effective answers to any hesitation or ambiguity police officers might have. – Prof.Dr.Ilirjan Mandro, Dean of the Faculty of Security and Investigation.

The brochure follows a longer trajectory of work with the Albanian police within the project on Countering discrimination and protecting LGBT rights in Albania. Main activities of the project include focusing on training police to report incidents of hate crimes and discrimination, applying a victim-centred approach, facilitating public events related to countering (LGBTI) discrimination and hate crimes, and mainstreaming (LGBTI) discrimination and hate crimes throughout the curriculum of the Albanian Police Academy.

With this brochure, which is part of the awareness raising campaign, and with the actors involved, the project aims to create awareness and encourage action to continuously focus on matters such as internal diversity, human-rights issues and inclusion, equality and respect for groups vulnerable to discrimination and hate crime.

To read the brochure click here.