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News Projects Rebel EN

ReBel, a new project that will foster solidarity and promote a sense of belonging among migrant women

This Tuesday took place the official online launch of the ReBel (Redesign Belonging) project, which aims to address the challenges of our society related to solidarity and a sense of belonging by providing a co-creation model that fosters belonging and empowers migrant women who have been in host countries for more than five years. They will be the cornerstone and will collaborate with professional designers to create models and solutions for different contexts in the project’s development countries: Spain, Finland and the Netherlands.

ReBel has a duration of 20 months and is co-financed with 411,455 euros from the European Commission in the framework of the Citizens, Equality, Rights and Values Programme (CERV) and will be coordinated by the Finnish university Laurea of Applied Sciences. Together with Laurea, the project consortium includes the Euro-Arab Foundation for Higher Education (Spain), the international organisation What Design Can Do (The Netherlands) and the VISIO training centre (Finland). The Euro-Arab Foundation will be responsible for carrying out the research and benchmarking part of local, national and international projects focusing on migrant belonging. The results will be used to develop a survey to elicit migrants’ experiences and feelings of belonging.

Spain to host a meeting of migrant women

Euro-Arab will be in charge of the activities in Spain, which will take place in parallel in the other countries involved, bringing together migrant women with local citizens, NGO representatives, local and regional authorities, in workshops where open dialogue between the groups will be promoted. Migrants will be able to present the obstacles they faced, and continue to face, in integrating into the host society, as well as their resilience strategies. NGOs will also have the opportunity to talk about their experiences with regard to employment, education, hate crimes or xenophobia.

These workshops will then be used to develop improvements that both authorities and NGOs can implement in their day-to-day work. In order to involve policy makers, Euro-Arab will organise a roundtable in Spain, which will also include members of the European Commission. The researchers will draft three policy briefs per country which will be made public and translated into the main languages of migrants to ensure their accessibility.

Upcoming events

On 5 July, WDCD will organise an event in Amsterdam where the project will be presented and in September the official presentation in hybrid format (face-to-face and online) will take place in Finland.

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IN2PREV-en News Projects

National Mentoring Event for Social Entities working with Asylum Seekers and Refugees

This morning, the Euro-Arab Foundation for Higher Studies held a national mentoring event aimed at leading professionals from social organisations, NGOs and mediation services working with asylum seekers and refugees. The director of the Department of Research and Projects, Javier Ruipérez Canales, together with the coordinator of this activity and researcher of this department, Daniel Pérez García, and Celia Sánchez Villarejo, both researchers of this department, have explained what the mentoring programme Approaching mentoring for a successful inclusion of Refugees and Asylum Seekers of the European project IN2PREV of which the Euro-Arab consortium is part of, and whose objectives include fostering cooperation and collaboration between police forces and NGOs representing refugees and asylum seekers. It also aims to establish accompaniment and inclusion strategies, adapting them to each context and improving the skills of professionals, thus mitigating any risk of vulnerability initially detected.

This mentoring programme, which will take place in 2025 simultaneously in Spain, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Slovakia, Moldova, Portugal, Poland and Romania, is a group mentoring process, where each mentor can have up to 3 mentees. It includes a preparation phase for mentorees, as well as session plans that will help to create a safe space for the mentorees and foster better communication and the development of a climate of trust between the mentorees and the host community.

Thematic organisation of each mentoring session

A total of twelve mentoring sessions with an approximate duration of one and a half hours each have been established. They will deal with: 1. needs assessment; 2. bureaucratic issues involved in the migration process of the mentored persons; 3. integration into the host community with, for example, an open discussion on the differences and similarities between the country of origin and the host country; 4. language barriers; 5. religion and culture; 6. job search and the working environment; 7. educational environment; 8. social integration; 9. mental health; 10. health care system; 11. the connection with the country of origin and 12. reflection and closing session.

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EN PARTES News Projects

«From Margins to Targets: How to Counter Exclusion and Protect Religious Minorities»

Since March 2023, the PARTES project («Participatory approaches to protecting places of worship» – more information here), funded by the EU, has been investigating attacks on religious communities and respective places of worship. Their findings show that minority faiths are more likely to be targeted than mainstream religions. However, the question of the social motivations of this phenomenon remains to be answered.

Read the complete article by our researcher José Luis Salido here.

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News Projects

We participate in the RAN YOUNG meeting where youth take the floor to confront polarisation and hate speeches

The third meeting of the RAN Practitioners Young Platform, the platform of young people, experts on radicalisation and prevention of the European Commission’s Radicalisation Awareness Network, took place in Zagreb (Croatia) on 2nd and 3rd May. Among the participants was Euro-Arab Foundation researcher Daniel Pérez García who together with the other young people explored the local impact of global challenges, such as war and international conflicts, on European youth and created proposals to mitigate the different repercussions on themselves and their communities.

Daniel Pérez García, researcher at the Euro-Arab Foundation, participates in RAN Young Practitioners

The recommendations revolved around four themes: mental health, polarisation, hate speech and hate crime. The Euro-Arab researcher was part of the hate crime group, which addressed how hate speech and hate crimes can precede atrocities, including genocide, or the use of social media and digital platforms as facilitators of the spread of hate.

The meeting concluded that hate speech, along with misinformation, leads to stigmatisation, discrimination and violence on a large scale, and emphasised the need not to underestimate the influence of global conflicts on individuals that can even lead to collective trauma.

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EN PARTES News Projects

The PARTES consortium meets in Brussels to exchange achievements and learnings

The entities associated in PARTES, the European project that seeks to protect places of worship, met on April 22nd and 23rd in Brussels in order to share the lessons learned and achievements reached so far. The Euro-Arab Foundation for Higher Studies is part of it and its researcher, José Luis Salido Medina, coordinated the PARTES Conference held in Melilla in March, which brought together representatives of different religious confessions.

Our reasearcher attended both, the workshop on April 22, and the Steering Committee on the 23rd. The workshop discussed the current challenges and issues that places of worship are facing. It also addressed the importance of bridging the communication gaps that may exist between the various religious communities and between them and the authorities. On its part, the fourth meeting of the PARTES Steering Committee was held to evaluate the work of the project over the past four months, identify key issues for discussion and develop a collaborative plan for the coming months.

Currently, the PARTES consortium is compiling local communication and security strategies to protect places of worship in ten European Union countries.

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News Projects VANGUARD

VANGUARD consortium meets to share results

On April 22nd and 23rd, the entities associated in the VANGUARD project, financed by the Horizon Europe – Cluster 3 program “Civil security for society” whose objective is to strengthen the fight against Trafficking in Human Beings (THB) and in which the Euro-Arab Foundation for Higher Studies participates, meet in Milan (Italy).

The Euro-Arab Foundation’s researcher Karen L. Hough participates in the meeting with the paper VANGUARD Road Ahead: Good practices for engagement of relevant actors and THB survivors: status, main activities and next steps, a discussion on cooperation with Civil Society Organizations and THB survivors, and the inclusion of their voices for three purposes: understanding, dismantling and raising awareness.

This second meeting of VANGUARD consortium also addresses aspects such as the current situation of online and offline THB crime and the next steps to be taken, the legal and ethical framework of VANGUARD and the validation of the project tools through pilot. Artificial Intelligence will serve as a tool for detection, identification, investigation and prevention of THB online and offline (e.g. at border checkpoints), applying computer vision and multimodal analysis.

The twenty-two members of VANGUARD consortium are expected to complete in 2026 this project that will enable to tackle one of the most serious transnational crimes, Trafficking in Human Beings, whose most predominant purpose within the European Union is sexual exploitation, followed by labour exploitation1.

  1. https://home-affairs.ec.europa.eu/policies/internal-security/organised-crime-and-human-trafficking/together-against-trafficking-human-beings_en ↩︎
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EN Hatedemics News Projects

HATEDEMICS Project Kicks off in Trento

On 17th and 18th April the Italian city of Trento will be holding the kick-off meeting of HATEDEMICS, a European Commission-funded project that put together fourteen partners with the objective of hampering hate speech and disinformation through AI-based technologies to prevent and combat polarisation and the spread of intolerant speech and conspiracy theories.

The project arises as a consequence of the rapid growth of social media platforms as facilitators of communication and interaction, but also as fertile ground for discrimination, hatred and misinformation with multiple targets. In this sense, during two years HATEDEMICS will address online hate and fake news, monitoring, detecting and recording. It will estimate the ‘hatedemics risk’ as the sum of the ‘hate speech and infodemics risks’ and, automatically assess behavioural changes.

The project will pilot and test a HATEDEMICS Platform, a tool that will be useful for NGOs/CSOs, fact checkers, journalists and media companies, as well as public authorities and youth activists to raise awareness of hate speech, and foster education through critical thinking and the ability to identify hate speech.

FUNDEA’S role in HATEDEMICS

The Euro-Arab Foundation for Higher Studies will be in charge of the research and support package to create the Platform, i.e. to prepare the HATEDEMICS methodology considering the current trends of hate speech, disinformation and multi-targeted discrimination [R1] online, as well as the requirements and needs of all stakeholders and target groups mentioned above. This will provide guidelines and approaches to engage all of them in the daily use of the advanced HATEDEMICS Platform and the development of a specific training and educational pathway. It will also facilitate the implementation of the pilot project, ensuring that the HATEDEMICS approach goes beyond the framework of the project and its end.

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EN PARTES EN Shield News Projects

A guide to protect places of worship

Synagogues, churches and mosques are of vital importance for social coexistence and cohesion in the European Union; however, they have been, and can become, targets of potential terrorist attacks as witnessed in the last decade. This has been one of the main reasons for launching the SHIELD project, funded by the European Commission’s Internal Security Fund (ISF) programme. The entities involved in SHIELD, including the Granada-based Euro-Arab Foundation for Higher Studies, are clear about the need to create a “cultural shield” that defends both individuals and religious communities, since, when talking about the physical security of infrastructures, aspects such as the environment, culture, social inclusion and inter-religious dialogue are underlined.

The project consortium was composed of eighteen partners from Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Poland, Portugal and Romania, research centres, intercultural institutes, local and security authorities and even religious associations with the common goal of identifying and proposing concrete solutions to burning issues of common interest, such as assessing the risk and vulnerability of places of worship to potential terrorist attacks.

Tackling extremism and protecting religious freedom

The establishment of projects such as SHIELD promote mutual understanding and increase respect, they also facilitate the meeting and sharing of knowledge, creating synergies. In this case, SHIELD has facilitated the development of a common strategy for reducing threats and increasing religious freedom. During the two years of the project, SHIELD has hosted several dialogue meetings aimed at countering religious extremism, with the co-participation of state security forces, the society and security and security technology companies.

The final event, held in Brussels, was attended by Tamara Muñoz, Programme Officer of the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Migration and Home Affairs, as well as representatives from ten European countries and the three monotheistic religions (Judaism, Christianity and Islam). In addition, copies of the guide produced by SHIELD entities (downloadable here) with guidelines on how to increase security and protect places of worship from violence and the threat of terrorism could be collected.

The guide has been translated into nine languages, including English and Arabic, and is aimed at religious community leaders, security officials, local policy makers and law enforcement officials. It gathers data on violent aggressions in Europe that show that the Muslim community has been the most attacked between 2000 and 2020, suffering 48% of the total aggressions compared to 29% of the Christian community and 24% of the Jewish community. This document aims, on the one hand, to raise awareness on the prevention of radicalisation and the issue of security and, on the other hand, to provide practical and operational guidance on risk assessment tools, technical security measures or mitigation approaches after an attack with the provision of victim support services.

The research continues

Although SHIELD has come to an end, another European project, PARTES, will continue to work until April 2025 with the same objective. In this case, the Euro-Arab Foundation in Spain is leading the work package “Threats and Responses Landscape”, a research to establish an overview of attacks on religious communities, the hate crimes they suffer and existing protection measures, as well as the identification of good practices of cooperation between religious institutions and public authorities.

PARTES’ priorities are to improve cooperation between public authorities and religious communities, to conduct awareness-raising campaigns, trainings and seminars, as well as to take stock, evaluate and exchange best practices and tools in this field.

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EN Hatedemics News Projects

The Euro-Arab Foundation in the meeting of the European Commission’s DG JUST

On 16 and 17 April, the European Commission is bringing together in Brussels the coordinators of projects funded by the Directorate-General for Justice (DG JUST), the department responsible for EU policies on justice, consumer rights and gender equality. The more than 100 people invited to the event will receive information on the new rules for funding and justification of expenditure, as well as guidelines for the quarterly review of each project to be submitted to the Commission.

The Euro-Arab Foundation’s Director of Research and International Projects, Javier Ruipérez, together with Euro-Arab researcher, Daniel Pérez, are participating in the event as coordinators of VicTory and as partners of the Data Equality project, both funded by DG JUST. The first one is focused on preventing discrimination in the use of data and the latter on improving the application of restorative justice for victims of hate and extremism.

In addition to the training sessions, the event serves as an opportunity for the different entities to develop synergies and establish contacts to create networks, which is essential in this type of projects focused on promoting cooperation between justice professionals, victim support workers, victims themselves, researchers and Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) and Civil Society Organisations (CSOs). Participants will also receive workshops on gender mainstreaming or how to include a gender perspective in all their work.

The meeting will also address the call of the CERV (Citizens, Equality, Rights and Values) programme which, together with the Justice programme, is part of the European Commission’s new Justice, Rights and Values funds. One of the projects funded by CERV is ReBel, of which the Euro-Arab Foundation is a member. It aims to foster social understanding of migrants and improve migration policies by working closely with migrant women. Another ongoing CERV project, in which the Foundation is involved, is HATEDEMICS, which aims to empower NGOs/CSOs, journalists, youth or public authorities against hate speech rooted in misinformation and targeting vulnerable groups.

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EN Bigosint News Projects

Results of the BIGOSINT Anti-Trafficking in Human Beings project

The BIGOSINT project, funded by the European Commission’s Internal Security Fund and aimed at analysing, developing and applying Big Data and OSINT tools to combat Internet-based Trafficking in Human Beings (THB) networks, came to an end on 3 April at a conference in Bologna, Italy. The event was attended by representatives of the four partners that have developed this European project: the Public Prosecutor’s Office of the Ordinary Court of Trento (Italy), coordinator of the project, Agenfor International (Italy), the University for Public Administration in Bremen (Germany) and the Euro-Arab Foundation for Higher Studies (Spain).

In the presentation of the conclusions, it was stated that the way in which a follow-the-money approach to counterfeit documents can open the door to the identification of other crimes that are, with some frequency, related to THB. It was also indicated that, while the follow-the-money approach is essential, there is a clear need for more effort to be devoted to criminal investigation in the digital sphere, as the piloting of the platforms in Italy and Spain has shown.

One issue that has emerged from BIGOSINT’s work is the need to further explore how to interlink data more effectively and comprehensively, and how to work in a more centralised way. The project has also identified the need to foster more dynamic relations between prosecutors’ offices and law enforcement agencies, for which memoranda of understanding between these bodies are of great help. In this regard, the case of the Venice Public Prosecutor’s Office and the Venice Local Police, which have used the aforementioned digital platforms, provides a fruitful example. Another recommendation resulting from the project is to further reflect on the broadening and deepening of cooperation channels between different local, national and regional bodies and the European Commission.

Cases analysed

The Bremen University of Public Administration (HfÖV) has investigated several prostitution cases with the TANGLES and FAST platforms and suggests different ways in which these investigative tools could achieve greater efficiency.

For its part, the Local Police of Murcia has underlined the advantages that the investigation platforms offer in terms of coordination, efficiency and savings in material and human resources, giving as an example that a closed case (reckless races posted on Youtube) was investigated again with the help of the OSINT and TANGLES platforms and that in just one day and one police officer the same level of investigation has been reached that at the time required three officers and three weeks of work. Moreover, the effectiveness of these platforms in the investigation of other cases related to trafficking in human beings for the purpose of labour exploitation has been noted.

The Trento Prosecutor’s Office, which presented the use of the platforms in cases of document forgery and trafficking for the purpose of labour exploitation (caporalato) and their interrelationships, has highlighted the improvements that these digital platforms make available to the investigative work, as they allow access to information in a more comprehensive and agile way. It is more evident that, while each procedure has an autonomous life, connections can often be made between crimes that would have been more difficult and time-consuming to identify using more traditional methods. The lack of human resources has been pointed out as a reality that, while mitigating the use of these platforms, needs to be addressed with the creation of new jobs, both in prosecutors’ offices and in law enforcement. Likewise, these platforms allow for more dynamic, efficient and coordinated relations between the public prosecutor’s office and the security forces.

BIGOSINT recommends promoting the creation of single analysis centres, following the experience of the Venice Local Police.