Friday 28 April
|Training in Anapa, 9th-11th September 2004|
The educational seminar (or more simply, training) “Interaction between Ethnic Associations, the Administration, and Law-Enforcement Agencies” was held from September 9th through 11th in the city of Anapa, located in the Krasnodar krai of Russia. The training was conducted within the framework of the project “Ethnic Minorities and Access to Justice,” financed by the European Union and the Global Opportunities Fund of the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office.
The first training took place from July 23rd trough 26th (see http://22.214.171.124/~intereth/EngNews/150704_1.html). It went off very successfully and left a good foundation for the further work in the Kranodar krai. Suffice it to say, that after the first training with ethnic associations and the police of the Krasnodar krai the chief of the Central Administration Board of Inner Affairs general Kucheruk invited leaders of local ethnic associations to a meeting. In that way the leaders of ethnic associations had the chance to get to know the chief police officer of the krai directly, to talk about their organizations and about problems they face in their daily work. As the second important step turned out to be the visit of London by a delegation from the Krasnodar krai and Moscow, which consisted of police and administration staff, as well as leaders of ethnic associations. The visit went very well, which, undoubtedly strengthened the authority of the Center of Interethnic Cooperation and therefore helped to organize the second training in Anapa not less successfully. Following the original script we would have needed to do the next educational seminar in Moscow. But we decided to develop our success in the Krasnodar krai further and therefore lead an educational seminar in Anapa again, this time in September, and the one planed in Moscow we put off to November. Since us was told in Anapa during our last training that the weather in September would be warm and their would be way less people. In deed everything turned out to be reversed. There were more people in the hotel “Anapa-Okean” where our training was held; we got fewer rooms than in June. As for the weather, we found ourselves in Anapa just these days, when a powerful arctic cyclone reached the southern regions of Russia. The whole three days a strong cold wind blew, the ocean was stormy. The people were wearing jackets.
The participants of the educational seminar arrived in Anapa in the evening of September the 8th.
As usual there were enough surprises waiting for us. For example, two of the participants of the seminar - leaders of ethnic associations - never arrived in Anapa. Certainly they had something more important to do, the birthday of the mother-in-law, lets say, or to fix the car. And vice versa there were policemen arriving, which we never had on our list. It turned out that the members of the police forces were more interested in our seminar than the leaders of ethnic associations. But that’s nothing peculiar for the Krasnodar krai. The liability to discipline does not appear to be one of the strongest qualities of our leaders of ethnic associations, no matter where they come from. One of the results of our training was that the staff members of the police forces behave more actively were better prepared than the leaders of ethnic association. Alack, in our society it is customary that social work is regarded as something secondary, which is done in leisure time when one has the wish and is in the right mood to do it. It’s not by chance that in all eleven regions of Russia where we work, only a few of the leaders of ethnic associations earn their living with this position. It turns out that on the one hand the issue of protecting ethnic minorities is very important to them since they founded and lead ethnic organizations, on the other hand not even the nice conditions of a splendid holiday resort can attract them to work, which they are actually supposed to do.
“The administration of the Krasnodar krai makes an effort to fundamentally change and extend its ethnic politics”, declared Yuri Alexandrovich Burlachko, Chief of the Krasnodar krai department of interaction with public organizations and political parties, on September 9th, while opening the training seminar. According to him a conception of ethnic politics is prepared in the krai administration, which the ethnic associations will play an important role in. Yuri Alexandrovich took part in the visit to London. He liked the willingness of the London policemen to talk about their work. He got very impressed by documentary shots showing a huge crowd of dark-skinned demonstrators, who pushed that much against a brick wall that it crashed down. “Great Britain was confronted with problems of migration earlier than us, they have gained a lot of experience we can make good use of”, said Yuri Alexandrovich. “At that we have to use the experience in a way that the situation won’t reach a state, where people would protest in public”.
The appearance of another participant of the visit, Ivan Cheslavovich Shushkevich, chief of the 10th Department of the Main Management’s Staff of the Russian Ministry of Internal Affairs, was not less interesting. Ivan Cheslavovich has visited several countries and knows the characteristics of the police work in these countries well. He emphasized that the police training system in Great Britain is one the best allover the world, and that the Ministry of Internal Affairs has already cooperated with Scotland Yard for several years. He mentioned that the Ministry of Internal Affairs is now being reformed fundamentally and the police will act toward the population as they would toward a partner. Therefore the necessity of interaction between police and population is essentially increasing. This project is dealing with the cooperation between the police and ethnic associations and turns out to be an important step in above-mentioned direction. Ivan Cheslavovich declared that the results of the project are subject of much further study in the Ministry of Internal Affairs and in future appropriate conclusions will be drawn. The chief of the 10th Department said, that he subscribes to the opinion of several Russian scholars, that a common nation of “Rossians” (rossiyane) has already been formed, and suggested to use in future the terms “ethnic associations” and “ethnic minority”. Other participants of the visit to London like Margarita Yefremova, staff member of the 10th Department and Alexander Mel’nikov, professor at the Krasnodar Institute of Law of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, also talked about their impressions. When Alexander Ivanovich Mozgovoi, Colonel of the Krasnodar Krai Central Administration Board of Internal Affairs, took the floor, it turned out that he didn’t need a microphone. Alexander Ivanovich is an amazing person. In a confidential conversation he speaks quietly and melodically, but if necessary he can speak with such a commander’s voice that you can hardly miss a word. He is a very widely read person and excellently knows the history of the different Krasnodar krai peoples. He used to be Chief of the Interethnic department, probably the only one in Russia. Now he leads the Department of Mass Actions. His staff works on the maintenance of order during every important mass action in the Krasnodar krai. Bound to his duty he traveled a lot in the krai and knows the leaders of many communities by face. More than once he extinguished the flame of interethnic conflicts that arose among different ethnic groups living together in a small territory. According to Alexander Ivanovich, these are usually young people who do not know how to release their energy. Alexander Mozgovoi specially invited policemen to the seminar who deal with interethnic relations in different rayons of the Krasnodar krai. In England he was most impressed by the police’s technical equipment: cars, communications facilities, video monitoring etc.
The work of the Greenwich Council for Racial Equality in London was introduced by one of its leaders, William Ekinu. William told us about the “Greenwich Agreement“, which was signed by the local authorities and organizations. Within the agreement’s framework grants with a total amount of 2,000,000 ? were distributed to 44 NGOs. A second British expert, the former Senior Inspector of Scotland Yard Chris Taylor, told the participants of the seminar, how in London the police co-operates with ethnic communities in different situations. In particular he explained how the police prepares itself for the maintenance of security during meetings and events. According to his statement, the fundamental devise of the London police is to use a minimum of violence. He asked the Krasnodar policemen how they prepare to corresponding actions. Alexander Mozgovoi explained to Chris and the others how the local police maintains security in such situations. Chris replied that they are doing about the same. Both British experts illustrated their lecture with slides. We have to mention that the technical conditions of the conference room in the Hotel “Anapa-Okean” absolutely comply with international standards.
Further, leaders of ethnic associations of the Krasnodar krai gave a report on the excursion to London: Oleg Georgizov (Public Council of the Center of Ethnic Cultures), Sofiyet Shamova (Center of Adygean Culture), Ruslan Nadirshoev (Tadzhik Public Organization). They emphasized the excellent organization of the visit of the NGO “European Dialogue”, the CIEC partner organization. And, of course, all liked the method of the London police very much: to involve representatives of ethnic minorities. Ruslan Nadirshoev announced that Sikh policemen are allowed to wear a turban and a beard, and female members of the police practicing Islam are allowed to cover their head with a scarf. Oleg Georgizov was impressed by the work of the Greenwich Center for Racial Equality. In fact, the center deals with all problems the ethnic minorities in London are confronted with, whereas the Center of National Cultures in Krasnodar only deals with matters of culture. “We will never live like that”, said Sofiyet during the break. It is almost impossible to disagree with her. The living standard in London is one of the world’s highest. Russia now has an even lower living standard than Hungary and Bulgaria. Nevertheless, we make efforts to live better, learn to live better, and therefore carry out training seminars hoping that as a result problems will be reduced.
On the next day the representative of the Greenwich Council William Ekinu gave lecture on: “Human rights as foundation for the interaction between law-enforcement organs and ethnic Minorities in Great Britain.” William told the seminars’ participants that the relationship between the State and different ethnic minorities in Great Britain is regulated through racial equality laws. Inside the British Ministry of Internal Affairs a special unit was formed: the Commission for Racial Equality, which not only punishes infringer of the laws, but also provides the financing for projects for ethnic and other NGOs in Great Britain, and assists with the realization of racial equality in practice. In particular, this Commission provides part of the Greenwich Council’s expenses.
“Ethnic stereotypes and how to get rid of them”, that’s what Marina Chibisova, lecturer at the Ethno-Psychological Faculty of the Moscow Psychological Pedagogical University, as an expert of the Center for Interethnic Cooperation reported on. One of the policemen of the Moscow Central Administration Board of Internal Affairs said that before he had met Eldar Mamedov he had imagined the Azerbaijanians in a completely different way. One could understand him. Eldar is a pleasant, young physician; he grew up in Moscow and knows Russian better than many Moscovians. Of course, he has never corresponded with the stereotype of an Azerbaijanian, which is imposed on us by our mass media that heavily. “An universal method to free yourself from stereotypes is to get more knowledge about other peoples and cultures”, that’s the general conclusion of Marina’s lecture.
Ashot Airapetian, director of the Center for Interethnic Cooperation, told the participants about the results of a series of training seminars which were carried out within the framework of the project “National minorities and their access to justice” in Yekaterinburg, Samara and Anapa. He told about the training seminar in Volgograd, which on the demand of the local authorities was carried out for members of the law-enforcement organs and leaders of ethnic associations. He illustrated his report with slides, which were shot during the training. Finally, he talked about the training seminar in the Kaliningrad oblast’, where problems between indigenous peoples and migrants do not arise, since the whole population consists of migrants.
So after one and a half days of work the participants of the seminar had got a lot of useful information about international and Russian mechanisms of interaction between ethnic communities and law-enforcement organs. The next step was a brainstorming, which was carried out by Victoria Shukhat, trainer of the Center for Interethnic Cooperation. “Which of the Russian and international experiences can be adapted to the Krasnodar krai?”, she asked the participants and wrote down all answers. These are the results:
Which of the Russian and international experiences can be adapted to the Krasnodar krai?
Agreement between authorities, police and communities concerning identity papers, action program, conception of cooperation
Financing the program: Russian state, Ministry of Internal Affairs, krai administration
The Ethnic NGOs’ Coordination Council (Center) must have krai status (finances, program)
Creating a normative base for the krai (interaction of ethnic NGOs and authorities)
Monitoring, analysis of the activities concerning interaction of ethnic NGOs, police and authorities
Material maintenance of the Center of Ethnic Cultures
For law-enforcement organs: simulation of different situations.
A concrete plan of activities.
Creating a working group involving the Ministry of Internal Affairs, local authorities and ethnic NGOs (participants with higher status).
Use existing state programs to organize the interaction between ethnic NGOs and the Ministry for Internal Affairs.
Work in the mass media, schools etc. to develop tolerance
Creating an off-budget fund at the Center of Ethnic Cultures
Independence of the Coordination Council from the authorities, at the same time state financing.
Creating a social ethnic program in the mass media.
Transfer of ethnic NGOs’ work to a service organization to satisfy the communities’ needs
Popularizing the ethnic NGOs’ work in public.
Involving and enlarging the number of ethnic NGOs’ members.
Center of Ethnic Cultures as a center of employment (job placement).
A more important role for ethnic NGOs’ leaders in the administration work.
Creating a civil society.
Active participation of ethnic NGOs’ in electoral campaigns.
On Victoria’s demand the participants chose the most important (in their opinion) points. The following points got the most votes:
Top-priority tasks to apply experiences to the Krasnodar krai
Agreement “Authorities - Ministry of Internal Affairs - Ethnic NGOs - document - program”
Krai status for the Coordination Council
Creating a normative base for the krai
Creating a working group “Ministry of Internal Affairs - local authorities - Ethnic NGOs (participants with higher status)”
After the tasks for interaction among ethnic associations were determined, Victoria divided the participants into three groups and asked them to consider concrete steps, which have to be done in order to fulfill the tasks.
When the representatives of each working group reported, it turned out that their results were about the same. As a result work has to be done the following way:
Preparing a trilateral agreement between the Central Administration Board of Internal Affairs, the krai administration and ethnic organizations;
Conducting a meeting of the Center of Ethnic Cultures, authority organs and the Department of Internal Affairs to sum up results of their cooperation in order to make use of international and Russian NGO experiences;
Creating a working group with representatives of the Central Administration Board of Internal Affairs, the krai administration and ethnic organizations.
And so the second working day ended, but before the very end there was another important undertaking. No, it was not a collective visit of the town’s beach. On this day, September 10th, a true storm broke out over Anapa, with heavy wind and pouring rain. In order to take a rest one could either hide in our hotel or take warm jackets and sweater so one wouldn’t freeze to death in these southern city’s streets. Well, the participants of our training met in the hotel’s restaurant “Edem” in order to celebrate the birthday of the most active participant of the seminar and most active worker of the Center of Ethnic Cultures in Krasnodar, Sofiyet Shamova. Sofiyet beside all of that marvelously sings and dances. The Waltz performed by Sofiyet and Chris Taylor might have adorned any concert program. The climax of the celebration was reached when Ashot Airapetian invited the leader of the ethnic associations to propose a toast to friendship in one’s own mother tongue, which one afterwards translated into Russian. It turned out splendidly. Chris proposed his toast in English, William in Ugandan and Dursun Balaev repeated his toast in seven (!) different languages, which he is familiar of. The police staff was enthusiastic over this.
The third training day was meant to be the most important one. The participants decided to continue the discussion of two issues from the day before: the preparation of a trilateral agreement between the Central Administration Board of Internal Affairs, the krai administration and ethnic organizations and the creation of a working group “Central Administration Board of Internal Affairs, the krai administration and ethnic organizations” to prepare a conception of interaction and its fulfilling. Ivan Cheslavovich Shushkevich declared that a trilateral agreement has to be signed before a conception of interaction can be worked out. First the Central Administration Board of Internal Affairs and the krai administration necessarily and principally have to agree.
Ivan Cheslavovich said that he himself is willing to sign such an agreement. Within 20 minutes the text was prepared and the author presented it to the participants of the training. The text was accepted and the participants agreed to it and signed it directly after the training had finished.
We decided to publish this text:
Then the participants of the training discussed the nomination of potential members of an Initiative group, which will take up the development and realization of a program of cooperation between authorities, police and ethnic associations. For the Initiative group the following were proposed for election: