On 11 and 12 September 2018, the Cape Town Consular General and ALPS Resilience co-hosted a workshop titled, “Protecting Individuals and Communities in a Pluralistic Society:
Hate crimes, religious discrimination, and government outreach with diverse communities.” The workshop was generously sponsored by the United States (U.S.) State Department’s Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor (DRL).
The workshop presentations and discussions touched on issues of religious freedom, religious intolerance, xenophobia, and social cohesion. American participants included a U.S. delegation from a government interagency group composed of people from the U.S. Departments of State, Justice, and Homeland Security, as well as a representative of the U.S. Sikh Coalition. Participants from South Africa included representatives of local civil society organizations, religious groups, and the South African Human Rights Commission; legal experts; and officials from the Department of Justice & Constitutional Development.
During the workshop, it became clear that the histories of both South Africa and the U.S. offer valuable lessons for tackling hate crimes and religious discrimination. The organisations at the workshop provided a large knowledge base about these issues. By the end of the workshop, attendees had discussed future steps to prevent hate crimes in South Africa and lessons learned from both countries.
For more information about the workshop, download the report here.