Hate Crime, Hate Incident and Discrimination Documentation Project is collecting incidents of hate and discrimination motivated by racism, Islamophobia and xenophobia in Waterloo region.
Hate Crimes: criminal acts because of Islamophobia, xenophobia, racism etc. For example, physical assaults like hijab pulling, spitting, pushing or property damage because of hatred of Muslims or immigrants. If proven in court, there are consequences as determined by the judge.
Hate Incidents: non-criminal acts motivated by Islamophobia, xenophobia, Racism etc. For example, someone shouting from the car “you terrorists”, or someone saying “I hate immigrants”. No legal action may be taken for a single incident but it still needs to be, and can be addressed in other ways. For example, in schools, we can work with teachers and principles to have some disciplinary actions in place so that it does not happen to anyone else.
Discrimination: the unequal treatment because of race, religion, sex or other personal & social characteristics. If discrimination is at your workplace, housing, by your service provider, then legal civil action can be taken through Ontario Human Rights Tribunal.
What is the difference between them?
Hate Crime is a criminal act so police is involved with stopping the harm and investigating and then the case is taken up by government lawyers in the criminal courts.
Discrimination in five particular areas (work, housing, memberships, contracts or services) can be taken to the civil court known as Ontario Human Rights Tribunal.
A hate incident may not be able to be tried in the court system but there are many other avenues to deal with them.
- Reporting hate incidents is important as it may prevent this happening again to you or someone else.
- It helps to provide a more accurate picture of the state of Islamophobia, Racism and Xenophobia in Waterloo Region.
- When you report hate crime, you become part of the movement to stop it. No matter how small or trivial you think the incident might be, it is important to the whole community that it is acknowledged and reported.
- Every report builds up a picture of what is really going on in your local area, showing patterns of behaviour against a certain group or by particular individuals.
- The more that local agencies like the Police and Councils know, the better they can educate, inform and protect everyone in the area.