A new hate crime national portal has launched in Scotland.
‘Action On Prejudice’ from YouthLink Scotland is aimed at young people and those who work with them.
It provides a virtual one-stop shop of where to get help, and how they can respond to a wide range of prejudice and discrimination.
It covers everything from race, sexuality, gender identity, disabilities and religion – and is the first national portal of its kind in the UK.
The groups at the launch included Fife Centre for Equality.
Recent statistics from Police Scotland show there were 900 cases of hate crime involving 11-15-year olds in 2016.
Launching the new portal, Nadia Freeman, senior development officer for the Action on Prejudice project said: “What young people really want is to understand what prejudice and discrimination is and to know how they can respond.
“This is why the portal not only shares resources but also provides information about where people can get help, events and relevant groups that young people can become involved in.”
The new portal has the backing of police, and key charities.
Constable Sacha Ponniah of Police Scotland’s equality and diversity unit said there is a clear need to inform young people about hate crime:
“The Action on Prejudice portal provides a range of very useful resources for children, young people and adults to help people learn more about prejudiced behaviour and hate crime. Police Scotland are working together with partners, including YouthLink Scotland, to tackle prejudice and hate crime in Scotland.
“The portal has information on what to do if you have witnessed or been the victim of hate crime and ways to report. These include Third Party Reporting which enables victims/witnesses to report hate crimes (non-emergencies) without contacting the police directly and these reports can be made anonymously.”
Pamela Graham of the anti-bullying charity, respectme, believes prejudice has to be challenged wherever it happens:
“To help children and young people to develop the respectful relationships that prevent bullying behaviour, we need to create environments where diversity is celebrated and valued, and name calling and comments based on prejudice are challenged.
“Knowledge is crucial to help bring about social change, and I hope the Action on Prejudice portal will help provide children, young people as well as practitioners with the information and resources they need.”
For more information visit the portal HERE: Action On Prejudice