One volunteer work is not enough to counter intolerance.
Our organisation, the Center for Interethnic Cooperation, carried out seminars and trainings in 27 regions of Russia. We also organized study visits for representatives of the authorities, the militia and non-governmental organisations (NGO) to Great Britain, Germany and the Netherlands. We have seen that in those regions where the authorities not in words but in fact cooperate with NGOs the level of intolerance is significantly lower than in those regions where such work is not conducted or only formally conducted. I am sure that the same pattern is observed in countries – members of the OECD – where the State really renders support to NGOs; that there is less intolerance and violation of minority rights. Government structures are not in a position to effectively fight xenophobia and intolerance without the support of the society. In turn, NGOs on their own cannot cope with racism and xenophobia without the support of the authorities. It is time to understand that one volunteer work is not enough to counter intolerance.
Our recommendations to the OECD:
Determine which percentage of the gross national income of Great Britain is going to be used for the support of projects of NGOs, and recommend the member countries of the OECD to allocate means for their NGOs. In what follows the experience of existing mechanisms in Great Britain to release funds to NGOs should be studied. Otherwise grants may go to friends, colleagues or relatives of funders.
The presentations of the representatives of the official delegations and NGOs of Russia can be found here: