In the fourth year of operation i-RED entered a new phase of research and intervention. A notable number of research products performed in the past years by i-RED were published in 2011. Research topics ranged from racism and xenophobia to unaccompanied minors and diversity in the workplace.
An unprecedented acute financial crisis has hit for the third consecutive year Greece and Europe leading to negative stereotyping, widespread xenophobic and hate speech, while physical racist violence has been more frequent and more dangerous, organised by extremist groups, but tolerated by the police and majority.
Most and foremost, in 2011 we were honoured to lead and to launch, the RED Network Combating Racism & Xenophobia through EU co-funding and with the efforts of 18 organisations in 17 Member States. Since early 2011 the RED Network has been working hard on the RED Early Warning System and Atlas of Racism and Discrimination, to go public on the RED portal by March 2012.
A series of key RAXEN reports (by HLHR-KEMO/i-RED) were published in 2011. They do represent a wide range of reporting activity in Greece on issues of racism, and discrimination against minorities and the situation regarding equality and integration.
A new website for i-RED offered us the capacity of dealing with more information and providing more interesting and user friendly interface for the research, the events and the work of i-RED and of important EU bodies and international institutions.
As each year, i-RED has made efforts in promoting at EU level, research and policies on fundamental rights, through networking, supporting migrants and minorities and through public intervention and communication.
This is one more Annual Report published in times of heavy economic crisis in Greece in a situation where the latter brings down decades of social rights as breaking through a glass door and leads to serious threats of social implosion, rupture of social cohesion, clashes and loss of political and democratic orientation to the respect of human rights. The increase of racist violence, as well as of the widespread and diffused aggressive xenophobic and anit-migrant/anti-minority hate speech, constitute the fertile ground for the rapid rise of violent far-right wing groups and representatives into the centre of the political arena and threaten the very democratic debate and confrontation based on reliable scientific and factual data and documented arguments. This occurs In a vacuum of rights’ oriented policies and solutions to the serious economic and political shortcomings, urging us to an even more demanding research and public intervention role.
Once more i-RED affirms its committment to contribute reliable and documented research findings to the public sphere and therefore to promote productive and inclusive societies which are based on knowledge and reliable information, mutual respect and solidarity and have no fear for the future.