Categories
News Projects

Euro-Arab Foundation participates in a new project to develop VR skills of vocational training students in Albania

The kick-off meeting of VR Digivet, a European project whose main objectives are to improve the quality and responsiveness of Vocational Education and Training (VET) to economic and social developments, in order to increase the relevance of skills supply for the labor market, while empowering VET providers to strengthen cooperation between private and public stakeholders, took place in Tirana (Albania) on Thursday, February 15 and Friday, February 16.

The project has been developed based on the needs expressed by the Albanian government’s policy document, in particular the NESS 2019-2022, and the recommendations of the European Training Foundation in the framework of the Turin process, with the coordination of the Agenfor International Foundation (Italy) and a consortium including the Euro-Arab Foundation (Spain), HfÖV (Germany), NAES (Albania), Fan S.Noli (Albania), and Service Factory Solutions (Albania). Representatives from all of them have participated in the first project meeting in Tirana, which was attended by the Albanian Government, and where all technical procedures were addressed and the next steps were discussed. VR Digivet representatives also made a study visit to an IT VET center in Gjergji Canco to check the VET center model in which the project will be developed.

The project’s success hinges on active involvement from key stakeholders in developing and overseeing Albania’s VET sector. This collaborative effort includes the Albanian government, VET providers, private sector representatives, experts, and VET students. By engaging in co-designing specific technical solutions, this approach ensures strong local ownership, enhancing its long-term sustainability. To achieve this goal, a public Albanian VR Metaverse for VET will be designed, implemented, and managed by the National VET Authority. Here, national, European, and international partners, along with their trained personnel, will create and deliver immersive training programs, transforming traditional VET roles in the digital realm.

Categories
EN Standup News Projects

European hate-crime battling project STAND-UP put an end with a seminar in Brussels

Brussels, 11 January 2024.- The closure event of the European STAND-UP project, the seminar “Stand Together Against Hate: A Multi-Agency Initiative”, has taken place this Thursday in the Residence Palace, Brussels, with the intervention of experts on hate speech crime, and the handout of the Victim Support Handbook as an efficient tool to hate monitoring and reporting. The morning session also included the presentation of the EU policy recommendations on supporting multi-agency cooperation in countering hate crime, making a special mention of the use of technologies for this purpose.

The seminar presented the results of various training programmes in different countries included in the project, creating an environment for in-depth discussions and exchanges. Experts such as Menno Ettema, Magdalena Adamowicz, Nataša Vučković, Akis Karatrandos will spoke on the topic of hate speech crime.

The six European project’s partners – National Commission for Human Rights (Greece), Euro-Arab Foundation (Spain), European Public Law Organization (Greece), Agenfor International Foundation (Italy), and European Association for Local Democracy (France), under the coordination of the Public Prosecutor’s Office at the Ordinary Court of Trento (Italy) –  have shared the afternoon session’s panels on interagency cooperation to tackle hate crimes and hate speech, as well as local pilot success stories and results developed in Veneto, Athens, Andalusia and Trentino-Alto Adige.

The STAND-UP project, co-funded with 748,780.66 euros by the European Commission Directorate General for Justice and Consumers, has taken place from January 2022 and January 2024 and it has focused on public authorities and Civil Society Organizations (CSOs)’ responsibilities and relationships with victims. It has enhanced multi-agency cooperation by establishing harmonized definitions of hate crime, embedded within a blueprint framework for cooperation, and it standardizes reporting procedures through the co-design and validation of reporting forms for law enforcement agencies, and CSOs/NGOs. STAND-UP has deepened the relevant actors’ point of view of hate speech and hate crime, including the sentiments behind them on a local level.

Project’s web page.

Categories
EN Unchained News Projects VANGUARD VANGUARD

VANGUARD: Reinforcing the fight against THB

Twenty-two organisations from twelve different countries joined forces for a new Research and Innovation EU project, VANGUARD (adVANced technoloGical solutions coupled with societal-oriented Understanding and AwaReness for Disrupting trafficking in human beings).

VANGUARD is a three-year project, funded by the European Union under the Horizon Europe programme, which aims to strengthen the fight against trafficking in human beings (THB), at the nexus of advanced technological solutions of understanding, awareness raising, and training to disrupt the trafficking chain (online and offline) at an early stage and to address the culture of impunity. In addition, it aims to provide an improved intelligence picture of THB, with particular focus on THB for purposes of sexual exploitation, labour exploitation, and forced criminality.

This will be achieved through developing a modular and trustworthy suite of tools for detecting, identifying, investigating, and preventing online-facilitated THB activities and THB-related activities at (border) checkpoints based on the analysis of online multimedia content and multimodal streams, by leveraging the latest advancements in Artificial Intelligence (AI).

CERTH-ITI, and in particular the Multimodal Data Fusion and Analytics Group (M4D), being the Coordinator of the VANGUARD project, together with the Visual Computing Lab (VCL) of CERTH-ITI, hosted the two-day kick-off meeting of the project on November 7 and 8, 2023 at their premises in Thessaloniki, Greece. More than 30 attendees representing all the partners from research and academic institutions, technology-oriented companies, and civil society organisations, as well as Police and Border Guard Authorities, had the opportunity to set up a clear action plan for the upcoming months, thus facilitating the fruitful and successful implementation of VANGUARD objectives. The kick-off meeting was also attended by the European Commission Project Officer who welcomed this attempt, underlining in parallel the need for continuous collaboration and a multidisciplinary approach to effectively tackle THB behaviours, resulting in effective policy making initiatives.

The Consortium

Coordinator: CERTH (EL); Partners: GGMH (DE), UCSC (IT), WAT (PL), KU Leuven (BE), ΚΕΜΕΑ (EL), CEA (FR), ICCS (EL), FUNDEA (ES), ENG (IT), ATOS IT (ES), ITTI (PL), RAD (RO), BayHfoD (DE), MJ (PT), MCH (ES), GPI (MD), HELLENIC POLICE (EL), EPBGB (EE), RBP (RO), GIBP (MD), CENTRIC (UK).

Categories
News Projects VANGUARD

VANGUARD launches its efforts aimed at combating human trafficking

The VANGUARD project focuses its efforts on advanced technological solutions, combined with actions to raise awareness and understanding within society, aiding in the dismantling of human trafficking.

This week, on November 7th and 8th, the new European project in which the Euro-Arab Foundation participates, the VANGUARD project on human trafficking, was presented in Thessaloniki, Greece.

The VANGUARD project centers its work on advanced technological solutions, coupled with actions aimed at understanding and raising awareness within society to help dismantle human trafficking. Various interdisciplinary activities will be carried out throughout the program’s implementation, designed for the next three years, incorporating research and specific transfer and training actions.

VANGUARD, funded by the Horizon Europe Programme, is supported by a consortium of 22 organizations – universities, technological development centers, civil society organizations, and public authorities – from twelve European countries: Germany, Belgium, Spain, Estonia, France, Greece, Italy, Moldova, Poland, Portugal, the United Kingdom, and Romania. The Spanish partners in this project are the Euro-Arab Foundation, ATOS, and the Local Police of Murcia.

A team from the Projects Department of the Euro-Arab Foundation attended the sessions in Thessaloniki, including researchers José Riera and Karen Hough, and the head of the Projects Department, Javier Ruipérez. Ruipérez presented the different projects in which the Euro-Arab Foundation has been working in recent years on the specific issue of human trafficking, such as INTERCEPTED, UNCHAINED, or BIGOSINT.

Intervention by the Director of the Projects Department of the Euro-Arab Foundation, Javier Ruipérez, on Human Trafficking:

Trafficking in human beings (THB) is a serious transnational organized crime with diverse dynamics that can take various forms: trafficking for sexual exploitation is the most common form in the EU (60%), followed by labor exploitation (15%), while other forms include forced criminality, forced begging, organ extraction, forced marriages, and others.

Between 2008 and 2019, the number of identified victims of human trafficking more than tripled worldwide, and the total number of victims is much higher than recorded.

Human trafficking not only affects EU Member States but it also has a multidimensional international impact, violating the fundamental rights of individuals and creating security issues in all areas.

Almost 46% of trafficking victims are adult women, and 2 out of 10 are underage girls. Additionally, one-third of all detected victims are girls and boys, and 20% are adult men (UNODC, 2020). More than half of trafficking victims within the EU are EU citizens, and most are victims of internal trafficking within their own country.

As indicated by UNODC, traffickers take advantage of certain vulnerabilities of the victims, caused not only by personal factors but also by economic, social, and societal factors (for example, economic recession, COVID-19 pandemic, conflict-induced migration, etc.), targeting marginalized individuals in difficult situations.”

Categories
EN Standup News

«Stand Together Against Hate: A Multi-Agency Initiative»

On January 2024, the EU STAND UP project final meeting will be held in Brussels. Registration is open.

On Thursday 11 January 2024, the seminar “Stand Together Against Hate: A Multi-Agency Initiative” will take place in Brussels, at the Residence Palace, as part of the European project STAND-UP, an initiative to combat hate crime in the European Union.

This event, organised by STAND-UP project, will bring together organisations and experts in the field, with the aim of preventing and combating hate crime through the cooperation of law enforcement agencies and organisations working on these issues.

The seminar will present the results of various training programmes in different countries included in the project, creating an environment for in-depth discussions and exchanges. Experts such as Menno Ettema, Magdalena Adamowicz, Nataša Vučković, Akis Karatrandos will speak on the topic of hate speech crime. 

The Victim Support Handbook, developed within the framework of STAND UP activities in collaboration with public authorities and NGOs and CSOs, will also be presented in order to empower people affected by hate crimes.

The afternoon session is dedicated to a panel debate led by EPLO, GNCHR, TNDJUPOL, AGENFOR and FUNDEA.

In addition, the Greek National Commission for Human Rights (GNCHR) will present a policy paper outlining effective strategies and policies to combat hate crimes in the European Union.

Link to register for the seminar:

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSe7Yi1RkCc_OYIchUt_AcPFay9JZgP3lsKfsEFyay9i4gdYMg/viewform

The main objective of the STAND-UP project is to improve inter-agency cooperation in the fight against hate crime through the design, development and implementation of a new inter-agency model led by public authorities.

Categories
Intercepted News

Professional Conference on the Situation of Trafficking in Minors under Guardianship System

On November 30, the Euro-Arab Foundation held the conference ‘Prevention, detection and intervention in situations of trafficking in minors under guardianship’, organized by the Andalusian Regional Government with the collaboration of the Euro-Arab Foundation and the INTERCEPTED project.

The conference was aimed at professionals who work with minors who may be victims of human trafficking. It was organized by the Regional Delegation of Social Inclusion, Youth, Families, and Equality of the Andalusian Regional Government, with the collaboration of the Euro-Arab Foundation.

The conference addressed the issue of human trafficking, a form of modern slavery that is a violation of human rights and an attack on human dignity. The violence that derives from this end forces us to rethink the world from another perspective, from a more humanist and gender perspective. In this sense, the human rights approach must lead to the preparation and training of professionals who are in contact with trafficked minors and guarantee the protection of victims through their laws. For this reason, prevention, awareness-raising, and, above all, detection mechanisms must be increased.

The main objectives of this conference were to propose tools and guidelines to strengthen detection, identification, and prevention procedures in order to protect, safeguard, and consolidate the rights of minors in a trafficking situation, as well as to raise awareness of the INTERCEPTED project, which aims to interrupt the digital model of traffickers by improving the digital capacities of police and judicial authorities.

The conference was introduced by Matilde Ortiz Arca, territorial delegate for Social Inclusion, Youth, Families and Equality of the Andalusian Regional Government; Antonio Sánchez Ortega, Deputy Secretary of the Euro-Arab Foundation, who presented the European INTERCEPTED project in which Euro-Arab is working, and Jorge Alberto Torres Segura, head of the Child Protection Service in Granada.

This was followed by the two conferences Trafficking of Minors in the Global Context of Migrations by Habiba Hadjab Boudiaf, intercultural mediator of the Granada Child Protection Service, and Public Policies in Andalusia and Trafficking of Minors by Ramón Rodríguez Gómez, Head of the Childhood Observatory.

The day concluded with the conference Socialising Agents in the Child Protection System by Ana Isabel Cruz Ortiz, director of the ISL La Huerta Minors’ Centre.

Interview with Habiba Hadjab on the prevention, detection, and intervention in situations of trafficking of children in care:

Categories
EN Medea News Projects

The Euro-Arab Foundation participates in the conference on EU Borders Security of the MEDEA project

The MEDEA project has organised the conference “EU Borders Security: Acting Ahead across Research, Practice, and Policy” on 27-28 September at the ISDEFE headquarters in Madrid. The conference is attended by experts from within and outside the consortium and is aimed at professionals involved in security.

Over two days, the conference will address the complexity of the European Union’s internal and external borders, which must allow for the efficient movement of people and goods while continuously filtering threats and ensuring security. The EU’s responsibility must evolve to adapt to the constantly changing geopolitical environment and threat landscape, and this requires promoting a constant exchange between cutting-edge research and innovation, strategy and policy planning, implementation on the ground, and engagement at regional, national and EU level.

The conference develops different sessions focusing on topics such as hybrid threats and border management; evolving interoperability challenges; and the key role of practitioners in security research. As part of the conference, a guided tour of CECORVIGMAR, the Guardia Civil’s Maritime Coastal and Border Surveillance Coordination Centre, is planned.

On the second day, Thursday 28th, Euro-Arab researcher Karen Hough will address the session on the common path between security policy and research. This session will discuss the ongoing challenge of aligning policy planning with research work which, in addition to considering the realities on the ground, needs to anticipate emerging trends and project action into the future. Also participating in this forum on behalf of the Euro-Arab Foundation will be Jose María González Riera, Deputy Director of the Euro-Arab Foundation’s Department of Research and Projects.

Expert round table at the second session of the MEDEA conference dedicated to the evolving challenges of interoperability.
Expert round table at the second session of the MEDEA conference dedicated to the evolving challenges of interoperability.

MEDEA Project

MEDEA aims to develop a regional network of security practitioners and actors in the Mediterranean and Black Sea region by forming a critical mass of security and humanitarian experts and actors to cooperate with multidisciplinary entities from other countries and to present their needs as inputs to the Mediterranean and Black Sea Security Research and Innovation Programme.

This project is funded by the European Union’s Horizon H2020 Framework Programme for Research and Innovation. The consortium is led by the KEMEA Centre for Security Studies in Greece and consists of 19 partners from different European countries. More information about the project on its website: https://medea-project.eu/

Categories
EN Standup News Projects

The Euro-Arab Foundation holds a specialised course on hate crimes and hate speech in the framework of the European Stand-Up project

The project “STAND-UP: Standing up against hate in the EU” held on 26 September at the headquarters of the Euro-Arab Foundation in Granada a specialised training for professionals on hate crimes and hate speech, with the participation of experts from different fields in four thematic blocks: “The phenomenon of hate and under-reporting: a victim-centred approach”; “Narratives of hate in digital contexts”; “Alternative narratives from civil society”; and “Tools for social transformation”.

The course was attended by professionals from the fields of education and social work, psychology, community mediation, research and the National Police Force, and with the participation of different entities such as CEAR, Save The Children, CEPAIM Foundation, Asociación Marroquí and Granada Acoge, among many others.

The director of the Euro-Arab Foundation’s European Projects, Javier Ruipérez Canales, welcomed the participants and opened the training, which began with a presentation by the director of the Instituto Confucio of the University of Granada, Isabel María Balsas Ureña, and her co-director, Bu Shan, on the role of the Institute and the activities they carry out to raise awareness of Chinese culture in society.

The researcher and project technician of the Euro-Arab Foundation, Lucía G. del Moral, was in charge of moderating the day, giving way to the first block on the phenomenon of hatred and under-reporting with a victim-centred approach, and to the first speaker, Ismael Cortés, Member of Congress in the 14th legislature, and his conference on access to justice and the different initiatives to tackle hate crimes from a multi-stakeholder and multi-level approach.

She was followed by María Pina and Marina Dólera from Columbares with the presentation of the project “Está en tu mano” (It’s in your hand) and a wealth of data and analysis to understand in depth the current situation regarding hate crimes. The third presentation of the block was given by Bárbara Pérez Serrano, health psychologist, expert in gender violence and coordinator of FUNCOP (Foundation for the Training and Practice of Psychology), who explained the group psychological care services for women victims of gender violence that exist in Andalusia, and how the processes of reporting and the causes of under-reporting are.

Agenda of the closed event for STAND-UP professionals

The theme of the second block was the narratives of hate in digital contexts. Carmen Aguilera Carnenero, PhD from the University of Granada, shared her analysis of the power of dissemination of Islamophobic hate speech through memes. Next, researchers from the Euro-Arab Foundation José Luis Salido and Lucía G. del Moral explained the monitoring of hate they carried out in the framework of the STAND-UP project on the extreme right on 20-N and Islamophobia in social networks during the World Cup in Qatar.

The third block dealt with the alternative narratives proposed by civil society. Vanesa Martín, head of projects and new narratives at Fundación Por Causa, explained how they generate new narrative frameworks on migrations that connect with audiences and change public debate. Javier Vaquero, artist and LGTBI+ activist, presented ‘La Intersección’, a research and digital strategy team dedicated to creating collective narratives and tools to stop hate on social networks.

The last block was dedicated to tools for social transformation. Óscar Negredo, coordinator of the Community Mediation service of the Llobregat City Council of Hospitalet, where they apply multi-agency strategies for the prevention of violent extremism, creating spaces to promote understanding between groups and communities, took part in it. The National Police Inspector and Delegate for Citizen Participation of the Granada Provincial Police Station, María José Ramírez Campos, also spoke, explaining the promotion and awareness-raising work carried out by this specialised unit to prevent hate crimes. The last presentation was given by Jero Varas, project technician of the Melilla Acoge Association, on the project ‘OWO: Defending the space of coexistence’ focused on the prevention of attitudes and behaviours that encourage hate speech and hate crimes.

El investigador Daniel F. Pérez y Sani M. Ladan, autor de ‘La Luna está en Duala’.

The day ended with the presentation of the book ‘The Moon is in Douala: And my destiny in knowledge’, in the form of a dialogue between its author Sani M. Ladan and Daniel F. Pérez, researcher at the Euro-Arab Foundation. During the conversation, they highlighted the prejudices and ignorance of European society about migratory phenomena, the lack of human quality that can be found in reception centres, the importance of having racialised references, the lack of protection of migrant children who are often used as a political tool, and the pan-African identity, among other interesting reflections.

This training takes place within the European STAND-UP project, the main objective of which is to improve inter-agency cooperation in the fight against hate crime through the design, development and implementation of a new inter-agency model led by public authorities.

STAND-UP project is co-funded by the European Commission Directorate General for Justice and Consumers. More information on the STAND-UP website and its activities on LinkedIn.

Categories
EN Mirad News Projects

The Euro-Arab Foundation takes part in the 23rd Annual Conference of the European Society of Criminology (EUROCRIM)

In a panel held this morning dedicated to the MIRAD project, Josep García Coll, researcher at the Euro-Arab Foundation, and Mariyan Sabev and Darina Sarafova, from the Centre for the Study of Democracy, presented a paper on ‘Assessine risk of violent extremism in prison and probation contexts’, focusing on the development of risk assessment tools, specifically for violent radicalisation of the extreme right and jihadist radicalisation.

The presentation outlined the main elements and risk indicators to be taken into account when carrying out risk assessments of people convicted of violent extremism offences. The development of these tools is motivated by the needs of professionals working on the front line with people deprived of liberty or who are moving towards probation or parole. The differentiation in the tools used according to the ideologies mentioned will improve the design and implementation of existing rehabilitation and reintegration programmes and thus achieve better results in the disengagement and reintegration into society of these persons.

Regarding right-wing extremism, research shows that the main risk factors include social marginalisation, perceived threats to traditional values, belief in conspiracy theories, anti-immigrant sentiment, political and social polarisation, economic insecurity, and exposure to extremist networks.

With respect to jihadist violent extremism, recent literature shows that the main risk factors are related to feelings of community grievances, complete distrust of the government and institutions, perceived ingroup superiority and other psycho-social factors like narcissism, sensation-seeking, cognitive closure or social alienation, amongst others.

The other two presentations held at EUROCRIM focused on ‘Training prison, probation and community staff on radicalisation and violent extremism: Results from a cross-sectoral and mixed-method training initiative‘ by IPS (Innovative Prison Systems) and on ‘Interinstitutional collaboration towards successful disengagement and social reintegration of violent and terrorist offenders‘ developed by the Centre for the Study of Democracy.

The MIRAD project (Multi-ideological Radicalisation Assessment towards Disengagement) is funded by the European Commission’s Internal Security Fund. The consortium is coordinated by the Emerging Security and Defence Team of the National Conservatory of Arts and Crafts in France (le cnam) and includes partners from Portugal, Poland, Bulgaria, France, Greece and Belgium, as well as the Euro-Arab Foundation in Spain.

Categories
EN Unchained News Projects

The UNCHAINED Project holds its Final Conference after more than three years of research on human trafficking

The UNCHAINED project is holding its final conference on Tuesday 25 July at the headquarters of the Agenfor agency in Milan (Italy) after three and a half years in operation. The conference, which is open to the public in an online format, will be attended by public authorities such as Law Enforcement Agencies (LEAs), judges and prosecutors.

During the day, the digital techniques developed by UNCHAINED to analyse and investigate the economic footprint that Trafficking in Human Beings (THB) leaves in cyberspace will be presented, thus improving participants’ skills to prevent and intercept trafficking more effectively.

The event will begin with a welcome address by Agenfor director Sergio Bianchi, who will give way to the intervention of Deputy Prosecutor of Padova Silvia Golin on International Cooperation on THB. This will be followed by the intervention of the Deputy Prosecutor of Venice, Lucia D’Alessandro, who will focus on her investigative experience on the Nigerian mafia and cultists.

The day will continue with a practical session on how to use the FAST platform to analyse the THB pathway led by the CEO of MBS Engineering Mauro Manolo Belmonte, and the presentations by Emanuele Florindi, Information Technology lawyer, on how to apply the money tracking approach in cyberspace, as well as Yuval Sanders, CEO of the software development company Falkor, who will speak on public-private cooperation for THB prevention. The conference will conclude with a round table on action patterns, pathways and synergies to prevent and counter human trafficking, with the participation of Venice, Padova and Milan prosecutors, police officers from Venice and THB researcher at John Hopkins University in the United States, Alexandra Malangone.

Since the start of 2023, the UNCHAINED project has delivered ‘Trainings for Trainers’ in the cities of Padua and Venice (Italy); in Athens (Greece); in Murcia (Spain) and in Bremen (Germany). Public authorities from all over Europe have thus benefited from these practical trainings where they have learned how to use the OSINT (Open Source Intelligence), HUMINT (Human Intelligence), SIGINT (Signals Intelligence), Big Data and FAST technology platforms for data analysis and human traffic monitoring. The training also included immersions in virtual reality and theoretical knowledge on the national and European human trafficking legal framework.

During this time UNCHAINED has also created a network of experts for the promotion of public-private cooperation between public authorities and private technology companies, which has been a success as significant synergies have been created, for example with the Local Police of Murcia.

The UNCHAINED project is funded by the European Commission under the Internal Security Fund – Police. The Consortium is coordinated by the Public Prosecutor’s Office of Padua and formed by the Euro-Arab Foundation for Higher Studies (Spain), the AGENFOR International Agency (Italy), the Center for Security Studies KEMEA (Greece) and the School of Public Administration (HfÖV) of Bremen (Germany).

Link to connect to UNCHAINED final conference: https://admin.rafikyconnect.net/l-rafikyconnect-091-460-5648 (Important: It is required the use of Google Chrome)