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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.

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EN Bigosint News Projects

The Euro-Arab Foundation will participate in the final conference of BIGOSINT against trafficking in human beings

On 3 April, BIGOSINT, a project funded by the European Commission’s Internal Security Fund, will conclude two years of work to combat human trafficking through the analysis of Big Data and OSINT (Open Source INTelligence) at a conference in the Italian city of Bologna. The event will be 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).

Sergio Bianchi, Director of the Agenfor International Foundation, will be in charge of the opening with an overview of the project, the risk assessment in the cycle of smart tools for information collection and, together with Rihab Ben Ammar, the analysis of new human trafficking routes.

Afterwards, Marijke Paulien Van Reijsen from MBS Engineering will present an analysis and explain the use of FAST Data, a real-time Big Data process, in the context of preventing and breaking human trafficking networks. Gianni Franzoi, Senior Commissioner of the Venice Local Police, will give his experience with the multi-agency cooperation model and new tools and Yuval Sanders, Managing Director of Falkor Ltd., will give an overview of public-private prevention with a hands-on practice on the TANGLES platform.

In the afternoon session, Emanuele Florindi, an IT lawyer, will present applications for monitoring the financial activity of traffickers in cyberspace. José González Riera, researcher at the Euro-Arab Foundation for Higher Studies and José Martínez Marín, from the Local Police of Murcia; Trygve Ben Holland, from the University for Public Administration in Bremen; Ivan Stenico and Nicola Cordeschi from the Public Prosecutor’s Office of the Ordinary Court of Trento will present cases of trafficking in human beings for sexual exploitation, the investigation of online crime and the indicators (red flags) of trafficking.

The event will conclude with the presentation of the Social Engagement Report: Overview and Results by Naz Öztürk, Project Manager and OSINT Analyst at Agenfor International.

The final conference, which will be simultaneously interpreted English-Italian-English, can be followed online, for which registration is required: https://forms.gle/bfX6LDzD3YazbJ7U9

More information on the project: https://projects.fundea.org/bigosint/

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EN Mirad News Projects

MIRAD project ends bringing together research, policy and practice in the fight against multi-ideological radicalisation

The final event of the European MIRAD project ended two years of work dedicated to assestment and prevention of radicalisation. The objectives of the MIRAD project were achieved thanks to the cooperation of the project consortium partners, to which the Euro-Arab Foundation belongs,  from seven European countries, together with a group of experts from the MIRAD Advisory Board, the KES Advisory Council and members of the Expert Boards on Jihadist Extremism and Right-wing Extremism.

The event was opened by Christiane Hoehn, Principal Advisor to the EU Counter-Terrorism Coordinator, who acknowledged the good work of the MIRAD project and its alignment with the strategic orientations of the European Commission. The final conference was attended by leading practitioners, prison staff, security forces, probation officers, NGOs and policy makers from different EU and non-EU countries.

During the event, the results of the project were presented, such as a tool to assess the reliability and capacity of NGOs to support de-radicalisation processes. Among the most expected results, the adaptation of the IRS risk assessment tool to consider the role of gender and ideology in the radicalisation process with a focus on right-wing extremism and jihadist extremism stands out.

Besides, a series of collaborative protocols for multi-agency transition were presented, stemming from the key role played by CSOs/NGOs and volunteers in promoting reintegration programmes, fostering inter-agency cooperation. The results of mixed-method training courses (training of trainers, e-Learning course, virtual reality training scenarios) to maximise the results of radicalisation disengagement and reintegration programmes were also made public.

Some of the conclusions reached at the final MIRAD event were the still high threat of islamist terrorism and the growing danger of right-wing extremism. The need for rehabilitation outside and inside prison and the need to assess what happens after prison was also addressed, as well as the identification of prisoners vulnerable to radicalisation as a basis for prevention and disengagement, and the promotion of models and protocols for inter-sectoral and inter-institutional collaboration.

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EN Hatedemics News

The Center for Andalusian Studies and the Euro-Arab Foundation will work to combat hate speech in a common European project

The Andalusian Studies Centre (CENTRA), based in Seville, and the Euro-Arab Foundation for Higher Studies, based in Granada, have held a meeting at the headquarters of the latter to coordinate the latest aspects of the European project HATEDEMICS, which will unite them in the task of preventing and combating polarisation and the spread of racist, xenophobic and intolerant discourses and conspiracy theories through technologies based on Artificial Intelligence (AI).

The project, funded by the European Commission, will be coordinated by the Fondazione Bruno Kessler and has thirteen partners: the Euro-Arab Foundation, CENTRA and Maldita. es in Spain; Saher Europe (Estonia), European Association for Local Democracy (France); CESIE, the Fact-Checking Factory SRL and the Commune of Trento (Italy); Solidarity and Overseas SErvice and the Ministry of Home Affairs, Security, Reforms and Equality (Malta) and the Centre for Citizenship Education, the National Research Institute and the Association of Demagogues (Poland).

The Euro-Arab Foundation will lead the work package that will define the approach, the socio-technical requirements and the methodology to be used, considering both the current trends of hate speech and disinformation, online multi-target discrimination and the needs of the target groups of this project, NGOs and CSOs, policy makers, legal authorities, IT companies, journalists and fact-checkers, the academic and research sector and the general public using the Internet and social networks.

The Andalusian Studies Centre, for its part, will be in charge of the report that will form the basis of the future HATEDEMICS Platform with which to prevent, tackle and denounce multi-target discrimination, online hate and misinformation, with updated, specific and effective indicators for better management of hate speech phenomena, applying the results of focus groups and semi-structured interviews, with recommendations for transferability and adaptability for the promotion of alternative narratives.

One of the main goals of HATEDEMICS is to improve the capacities and critical thinking of the target groups with reliable AI tools, combined with advanced data collection methods, will allow for more tailored online interventions resulting in more efficient and effective efforts of both professionals and volunteers. The vision is to maintain fairness and balance by applying appropriate measures and ensuring compliance with legal and ethical standards.

The launch of the HATEDEMICS project is scheduled to take place on 17 April in the city of Trento with a kick-off meeting attended by all partners.

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EN PARTES News Projects

The Euro-Arab Foundation organises a conference in Melilla on interreligious dialogue and hate crime prevention

Participatory approaches to the protection of places of worship is the title given to the forum hosted by the Government Delegation in Melilla on Thursday, organised by the Euro-Arab Foundation for Higher Studies in the framework of the PARTES project funded by the European Commission. The Government Delegate, Sabrina Moh, opened the event by thanking Melilla for having been chosen as the venue for this forum and pointing out the importance of working for the prevention of hate crimes, inter-religious dialogue, tolerance and respect.

“We are witnessing the emergence of messages of polarisation and tension, and I think it is vital to work to prevent hate crimes, which is something that we must do together institutions and entities while focusing on this issue so that society is aware of this problem and tools are put in place to put an end to it”, Moh indicated.

On his part, the Executive Secretary of the Euro-Arab Foundation, Antonio Sánchez Ortega, recalled that the aim of the organisation he represents is to create bridges of collaboration, knowledge and research. He therefore recognised that Melilla is a “privileged” place, as it is an “estuary of civilisations and cultures which perfectly demonstrates this coexistence and this model of participation”. Sánchez stressed that the results of these conference “will feed into the PARTES project and it will serve as a model for transfer to civil society”.

The working session was also attended by the representative of the European Commission’s funding programme, Tamara Muñoz, representatives of the State Security Forces and Corps, and members of the city’s religious communities, among other civil society organisations.

The PARTES project

The European PARTES project started on 31 March 2023 and is scheduled to end in April 2025. It proposes to develop, through an empirical, inclusive and participatory methodology, a comprehensive prevention model for the protection of places of worship (synagogues, mosques, and churches) in the European Union, thus also preventing hate crimes against religious communities.

The Euro-Arab Foundation leads the “Threats and Responses Overview” Work Package which coordinates the research to establish an overview of attacks on religious communities, hate crimes against them, and existing protection measures. It identifies also good practices for cooperation between religious institutions and public authorities, for the protection of places of worship. The Euro-Arab was also in charge of organising the participatory workshop in Melilla, held on Wednesday at the UGR, and the inter-religious forum on Thursday at the headquarters of the Government Delegation in Melilla.

Euroarab researcher and organiser of the PARTES conference in Melilla, José Luis Salido, giving the participatory workshop, held at the UGR.
Euro-Arab Foundation’s researcher and organiser of the PARTES conference in Melilla, José Luis Salido, giving the participatory workshop, held at the UGR.
Inauguración del taller participativo, celebrado en la UGR, a cargo de César Solano, decano de la Facultad de Ciencias Salud (UGR), Tamara Muñoz, responsable de programa de la Dirección General de Migraciones y Asuntos de Interior de la Comisión Europea y José Luis Salido, investigador de la Fundación Euroárabe y organizador de las jornadas.
Opening of the participatory workshop, held at the UGR, by César Solano, Dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences (UGR), Tamara Muñoz, Programme Officer at the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Migration and Home Affairs, and José Luis Salido, researcher at the Euro-Arab Foundation and organiser of the conference.
Meeting of the Euro-Arab researchers, José Luis Salido and Daniel Pérez, with Fadela Mohatar, Councillor for Culture, Cultural Heritage and the Elderly of Melilla and Marta Marzol, advisor for Culture of the Council, in the framework of the PARTES project conference.
Meeting of the Euro-Arab researchers, José Luis Salido and Daniel Pérez, with Fadela Mohatar, Councillor for Culture, Cultural Heritage and the Elderly of Melilla and Marta Marzol, advisor for Culture of the Council, in the framework of the PARTES project conference.
Inauguration of the forum 'Participatory approaches to the protection of places of worship' at the Government Delegation of Melilla, with the Government Delegate, Sabrina Moh, and the Executive Secretary of the Euro-Arab Foundation, Antonio Sánchez Ortega.
Opening of the forum ‘Participatory approaches to the protection of places of worship’ at the Government Delegation of Melilla, with the Government Delegate, Sabrina Moh, and the Executive Secretary of the Euro-Arab Foundation, Antonio Sánchez Ortega.
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EN Shield News Projects

The SHIELD project comes to an end with a Guide for the Protection of Places of Worship

On 28 February, the final conference of the European SHIELD project took place in Brussels with the presentation of the results as a formula for coexistence between people of different faiths. The event was attended by the programme manager of the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Migration and Home Affairs, Tamara Muñoz, as well as representatives from ten European countries and the three monotheistic religions (Judaism, Christianity and Islam). The project has aimed to identify and propose concrete solutions to burning issues of common interest, such as assessing the risk and vulnerability of places of worship to potential terrorist attacks, providing a comprehensive guide (downloadable here) to increase security.

SHIELD Handbook
SHIELD Handbook

During the two years of the project, SHIELD has hosted a number of dialogue meetings with the aim of countering religious extremism, with the co-participation of state security forces, society and security technology companies. The final recipients of the results of the SHIELD project, the representatives of religious communities, have played a decisive role in providing advice and suggestions based on cultural reflection when talking about the physical security of infrastructures, aspects such as the environment, culture, social inclusion and inter-religious dialogue are underlined.

José Mª Riera, researcher at the Euro-Arab Foundation for Higher Studies, participating in the final SHIELD conference.
José Mª Riera, researcher at the Euro-Arab Foundation for Higher Studies, participating in the final SHIELD conference.

At the final conference it became clear that 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. For those involved in SHIELD, it is necessary to create a cultural shield that defends individuals and religious communities, but it is also necessary to create opportunities to work and take part in projects that facilitate encounter and knowledge sharing. The establishment of projects such as SHIELD between diverse faith identities promotes mutual understanding and increases respect, a synergy that culminates in the development of a common strategy for the reduction of threats and the enhancement of religious freedom.

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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.

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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.

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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).