LIGHT ON – Cross-community actions for combating the modern symbolism and languages of racism and discrimination

LIGHT ON aims to tackle the normalisation of racism and its related images and habits providing a set of tools for the community, but also for law enforcement professionals, through a preventive and participatory approach calling everyone to put discrimination in the spotlight, and combating it. The general objective of the project is to contribute to the development of a culture that denounces racism, underlines its social disvalue and promotes an active role of individuals in combating racism, xenophobia and related forms of intolerance. LIGHT ON puts the spotlight on dangerous normalisation of images and expressions of racism in European societies, promoting a common approach that involves all the social partners, citizens, victims, operators, authorities, and police.
Purpose and goals:
• Challenging the normalisation of racism and xenophobia and their acceptance as normal expressions of dialogue and social life in everyday life, through scientific research that identifies the images that explicitly and implicitly express racism, while at the same time analysing how communities perceive them. The research will also constitute the framework to build a set of tools aimed at raising the awareness of European citizens;
• Strengthening the capacity of professionals and authorities to denounce hate crimes and discriminatory behaviours, through a highly specialised training model and a toolbox for the recognition of racist or discriminatory features, even when hidden in social behaviours that are normally accepted;
• Encouraging people to report if they become victims or witness an incident of discrimination. With targeted activities aimed to encourage complaints to responsible authorities, the project seeks to create a proactive enforcement of discrimination where to each infraction follows a penalty, formal or informal, in contrast to the normalisation of racism;
• Providing tools for the promotion of European campaigns that will be validated by a European anti-discrimination consortium and tested in five national campaigns.


Project execution

• Creation of the End-user Advisory Board which will evaluate the anti-discrimination toolkit;
• Analysis and scientific research of hidden and explicit symbols of racism and discrimination, assessing through qualitative and quantitative analysis how these are perceived in communities in Europe;
• Establishment of five National Watching Points to promote active role of local communities in contrasting racism;
• Creation and pilot of a training model for law enforcement officers and related responsible authorities in order to improve their ability to recognise and contrast racism;
• Development of anti-racism smart toolbox; a set of practical instruments targeted at different audiences (including guidelines for law enforcement entities, a visual database of racist images and a related glossary, as well as templates for reporting);
• Launching a social network-based self-reporting system for online racism;
• Promotion of the campaign to spot discriminatory behaviours and promote project activities.

Partners:

Abruzzo Region, Italy (project coordinator); Progetti Sociali, Italy; UNICRI - United Nations Interregional Institute for Research on Crime and Justice; ENAR - European Network Against Racism; The Ombudsman for Minorities, the Ministry of Interior of Finland; ISIG - International Institute of Sociology of Gorizia, Italy; ELTE - The Eötvös Lóránd University, Hungary; The Forum - The Migrant and Refugee Community Forum in London, UK; The Peace Institute, Slovenia.

Funders:

EC, FRC programme Fundamental Rights and Citizenship Program of the European Commission