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OSCE Urges Stronger Laws Against Racism

Vienna, 9 June 2005 (RFE/RL) -- The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) yesterday urged governments to enforce stronger legislation against any form of racism or discrimination.

OSCE Chairman Dimitrij Rupel, who is also the Slovenian foreign minister, said it was not enough to criticize aggressive nationalism, hatred of foreigners or religious and ethnic hatred. He said governments must introduce strong laws and enforce them.

Rupel was speaking at a conference on discrimination in Europe organized by the OSCE in the Spanish city of Cordoba. He said Europe was becoming more multicultural as it expanded and there was a growing need for more for integration and the protection of minorities.

The conference, which ends today, is focusing on religious discrimination including both anti-Semitism and anti-Muslim propaganda. It is also discussing racism in the Balkans and other parts of Europe and discrimination against the Roma across Europe.