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Saturday 25 November

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A seminar/training “Cooperation between authorities, law-enforcement agencies and ethnic diasporas f
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A seminar/training “Cooperation between authorities, law-enforcement agencies and ethnic diasporas for prevention of interethnic conflicts” took place at “Red Hill” business-center in Sarakhtash district of Orenburg region. This seminar was organized by the Ministry of Culture, Public and External Relations and initiated by the employees of Moscow NGO “Center for Interethnic Cooperation”. Representatives of Ministry of Culture, executive agencies, leaders of ethno-cultural organizations of Orenburg region, employees of prosecutors’ office and police took part in this training.

For such a multiethnic and polyconfessional region as Orenburg region is, the formation of tolerant mind orientation and behavior, liberal attitude toward religion and peacefulness, prophylaxis and prevention of different kinds of extremism is particularly important. That’s why this seminar/training is so important for this region.

The seminar started with a standard procedure of acquaintance. A method of pair building was invented by Center for Interethnic Cooperation Director Ashot Ayrapetyan. He divided the participants into two groups and then asked members of one group to choose a partner from the other group. This chaotic pair building gave lot of fun to participants and they really enjoyed presenting each other. The friendly atmosphere appeared from the very beginning. Most of the time participants worked in three groups: group of police employees, group of authorities, group of ethnic leaders.

Different issues concerning cooperation between authorities, law-enforcement agencies and ethnic diasporas were discussed. Particular situations related to interethnic tensions in some regions of Russian Federation were analyzed. The “portrait” of a typical representative of ethnic diaspora, composed by police employees, showed interesting and didactic conclusions. Representatives of law-enforcement agencies, in their turn, were acquainted with a “portrait” of their typical representative, composed by the leaders of ethno-cultural organizations.

- Lots of representatives of ethnic diasporas complains on police employees, and vice-versa, there’s lot of information, especially in Mass-Media, telling us about enormous amount of crimes committed by representatives of different ethnic groups. To find out is there really a confrontation between these two groups, we make training, and as the result we can see that it is possible to work with both groups without any insuperable barriers. Both groups are always criticized by the people. Our society always tries to find a scapegoat, to pay off all the existing issues on migrants, visitants, ethnic minorities. The same situation with police – if we feel a need to blame someone, we blame the police, - a comment given by Ashot Ayrapetyan, director of Center for Interethnic Cooperation.

During presentations the participants shared experience in solving different conflict situations. Some business games took place that allowed all the participants to better understand each other, to work out strategies for cooperation. Participants of the seminar together searched for the reasons of interethnic conflicts and answered the question “What unites ethnic minorities, executive agencies and law-enforcement agencies?” The other simulation exercise was offered to the participants after the debates – press-conference, where representatives of diasporas played roles of law-enforcement agencies employees, and policemen took roles of diasporas representatives. This method helped the participants to understand problems the other social group faces, to become closer and to work out common strategy.

After all presentations and discussions it has become obvious that the main issue related to interethnic conflicts is one-dimensional judgment to the problem and poor level of cooperation between structures. That’s why participants had no problems to work out final recommendations – the culmination moment of the training.

The working out of recommendations for better prevention of interethnic conflicts has become a result of the training. At first each group composed recommendations for their own institution, and then studied lists of other groups and added their suggestions. After adaptation by the organizers these recommendations will be sent to the Ministry of Regional Development and Ministry of Internal Affairs of Russian Federation.

- We made very useful things during these three days, but the main impression we got by people we got acquainted with. We were forced to think and to find right solutions, - marked all participants at the end of the seminar.

Big part of participants underlined that they had learned lots of new things about traditions of different nations, about particularities of behavior of people of different ethnicities and confessions. All marked that the newly gained knowledge will be very helpful in their practical work.

Recommendations to ethnic organizations

1. To carry out such kind of seminars and trainings with representatives of authorities, law-enforcement agencies, migration service and ethnic organizations more often.

2. To carry out activities on prophylaxis of interethnic conflicts inside each ethnic organization inviting representatives of other diasporas, that with more conflict possibility in particular.

3. To promote in Mass-Media and TV meetings between ethnic leaders, representatives of authorities and law-enforcement agencies.

4. To support the establishing of ethnic core groups at areas of compact settlement of ethnic minorities and to elevate the influence of diasporas leaders.

5. To organize cultural and sports events between diasporas, representatives of authorities and law-enforcement agencies.

6. To oppose individual ethnic leaders and organizations to use their influence in self-interested and criminal purposes.

Recommendations to Ministry of Internal Affairs

1. To carry out interdepartmental activities also attracting ethnic diasporas leaders to support and strengthen tolerance in areas of compact settlement in the first place (preventive conversations, sports and cultural activities).

2. To discuss the possibility to include representatives of ethnic diasporas to the Social Council within the regional Department of Internal Affairs.

3. Working out of methodological recommendations for employees of law-enforcement and executive agencies on tolerance and non-discrimination against representatives of other ethnicities and also for migrants explaining standards of behavior in Russian federation.

4. Creation of positive image of a migrant and activities to elevate the influence of police employees (via Mass-Media and outdoor advertising).

5. Inclusion of tolerance lessons (with visits of police employees and representatives of ethnic diasporas) to compulsory school program .

6. Establishing of particularized center for support in social adaptation and necessary medical help to migrants.

7. More strict responsibility for violations of migration laws.

8. To recommend the migration service authorities to bring into action photography and dactylography while registering foreign citizens in Russian Federation.

9. To organize a system of professional education for work with ethnic diasporas and migrants in institutes for Ministry of Interior.

10. To change attitudes of police employees towards ethnic minorities.

Recommendations for authorities

Federal level

1. Establishing of Ministry of National politics.

2. To change migration law.

3. Initiation of establishing of migration centers.

4. Adoption of national politics statute.

Regional level

5. Establishing of Department of national politics.

6. To align work on organization of monitoring of ethno confessional situation on municipal territories.

7. To organize a social advertising campaign to create a positive image of people of different ethnicities.

8. To organize activities on advance training for professionals on ethno confessional issues.

Local level

9. Establishing of Center of Ethnic Cultures (House of friendship).

10. To use Mass-Media to create a positive image of migrants.

11. Adoption of municipal program of national politics.

12. To organize cooperation between migration service authorities with ethnic communities leaders and Ministry of Culture for educational work among migrants.

13. To organize a system of educational seminars/trainings for employees of law-enforcement agencies, representatives of authorities and leaders of ethnic organizations.

14. To recommend to ministry of Education to work out a system of work with children and teenagers on ethnic issues.