A new phase of the growing anti-racist campaign in Ukraine starts in frames of the Football Against Racism in Europe (FARE) East European Development Project coordinated by the NEVER AGAIN' Association. New activity partners in Ukraine have been confirmed and announced during meetings held by FARE in Kiev on 15 and 16 December 2010.

The broad spectrum of new FARE partner organisations includes, among others, the Congress of National Minorities of Ukraine, the National Council of Youth Organizations of Ukraine, the Kiev Armenian Community, the Crimean Institution for Civil Society, the Women's Rights Centre 'La Strada-Ukraine', the Donetsk City Charitable Foundation 'Dobrota', and the Kharkiv University of Humanities - People's Ukrainian Academy. Long-term FARE partners - the East European Development Institute, the African Centre and Football Against Prejudices - receive increased support for their ongoing activities, too.

The diverse projects range from monitoring of racist incidents and specialist trainings for officials and security personnel to awareness-raising actions, media work, multi-ethnic festivals and tournaments as well as anti-racist educational activities. The initiatives are consulted and assisted by the 'NEVER AGAIN' Association. The partners are supported financially in their planned activities and they are going to be involved in future FARE actions in the lead up to UEFA EURO 2012.

In a parallel development, FARE has taken its presence in Russia to a new level as well. The objectives and activities of the Eastern European Development Project were presented at an official conference hosted by the Council of the Federation - the Russian Parliament's upper house - in its main meeting hall on 17 December. 'Our priority in Russia is to work with ethnic minorities, anti-racist and human rights groups, educational institutions as well as interested officials' - said Dr Rafal Pankowski, the FARE EEP and East Europe Monitoring Centre coordinator, in his Moscow statement.

The Moscow event took place in the wake of FIFA's decision to host the 2018 World Cup in Russia and a wave of racist football fan riots in Russian cities. The East Europe Monitoring Centre recently reported related far-right activities aiming at a spill-over effect in several Ukrainian regions, for example in the Crimea.

'It is vital to step up anti-racist activities in Eastern European countries as they prepare to host major international sports events in the next years’ - said Piara Powar, FARE's Executive Director. - 'We draw from our regional experience and we are ready to meet new challenges'.

The 'NEVER AGAIN' Association is an anti-racist educational and monitoring organization established in Poland in 1996. It runs the 'Let's Kick Racism out of the Stadiums' campaign and actively participates in the FARE network. Since 2009, 'NEVER AGAIN' has coordinated the FARE East European Development Project supported by UEFA in the lead up to EURO 2012 in Poland and Ukraine. 'NEVER AGAIN' has set up the East Europe Monitoring Centre documenting racism and xenophobia across the region.

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Published 20/12/2010