Following a meeting of the city's intercultural panel, on Friday Wrocław City Council announced their 3-tier strategy to take on xenophobia and promote tolerance.
The five year strategy has been put together following the input the city received from its intercultural panel, which includes representatives from different cultures and faiths in Wrocław.
In an article on Wroclaw's official website, the city made it clear that their goal is to see Wrocław be a place whose inhabitants "live in mutual respect, regardless of origin, cultural identity, language or religion."
However, the same article also talks about the challenges that lie ahead: "There is another side of the coin – racism, foreign aggression as well as intolerance of unknown traditions and customs, all of which can be misunderstood under the guise of 'patriotism'."
During the meeting, Rafał Dutkiewicz even went as far as to brand Poland as xenophobic, stating: "Poland is xenophobic and the worse it gets the more you have to do all you can to stop it."
The main points from the 3-tier strategy are as follows:
1. Knowledge and education
- Anti-discrimination tutorials, workshops, conferences and seminars, as well as social awareness campaigns
- intercultural education and meetings with ambassadors of different faiths and cultures
- schemes to be aimed at children, teenagers and adults of all ages
Here the document summarising the meeting and the strategy put specific emphasis on Wrocław's adult population, who it says "carry the main responsibility for shaping the attitudes of young people."
- More use of CCTV, plus support from police and city guards to intervene and support the victims of violence
- Protests against racial violence and discrimination
Here the council also chose to highlight the fact that some people refrain from condemning the racism or xenophobia because they are "worried about their own safety".
- Intercultural dialogue to be fostered and developed
- Continued support for foreigners through services such as (INFOLINK, Polish lessons, University activities for Erasmus students and assistance for migrants and refugees
Aside from the 3 points mentioned above, the city will also look towards overcoming other legal hurdles on their way to thwarting the threat of xenophobia in the city. The issue of responsibility when it comes to the placement of racist or xenophobic posters in public places is just one example here.
The current strategy will be deployed until 2022, when its success will be fully examined. There are opportunities to expand on and tweak the strategy between now and 2022, as every year the scheme will be open to amendments and improvements.