i-RED Annual Report 2009

In the second year of operation -RED expanded considerably its research activities. Research topics ranged from migration and asylum to Roma housing and hate speech in political discourse. This occurs in times of extremely acute economic crisis with negative effects on social rights and social protection and on migrants and minorities through scape-goating, negative stereotyping, verbal and physical racist violence.

In this situation, the response to rapidly developing events and trends of racist violence and discourse - often at the very core of the public and political arena - is crucial and should arrive promptly in order to confront efficiently dominant perceptions of racism and intolerance. Often, and especially under these economic and political circumstances the wide public is misled to believe - and fear - myths of extreme right wing inspiration, about migrants and social minorities. The so-called ‘ghetto’ of Athens centre is one of these self-come-true prophecies based on weakening of social protection and poverty, as the preamble of segregated societies. It is crucial therefore, to address and heal the negative social effects of the crisis and lay down the conditions for future productive and inclusive societies. i-RED is committed to work towards this direction through reliable and insightful research and intervention in the democratic public sphere.'