Strength for change


Through the Strength for Change project, the Centre for Peace Studies initiated, continued or intensified cooperation with organizations and initiatives representing racialized, migrant or minority communities, to create a database for recording incidents of racism and discrimination affecting these communities.

The main goal of the database is to record racist and discriminatory incidents that pass under the radar of official institutions such as the police or the Ombudsperson, often due to the distrust of marginalized communities, who doubt that the system will be able to protect them from the perpetrators, or because they are not familiar with whom to report such incidents.

In our work, we met people who, after being attacked in clubs or trams or on the streets of Zagreb based on their race, were either told to forget about these incidents or were themselves brought to police stations as accomplices. Those few who managed to bring the cases to court mostly remained disappointed with the procedures themselves and the sentences towards perpetrators.

According to data from the Ombudsperson's annual report for 2022, the largest number of rights violations refers to the Roma minority. Also, according to research data on the attitudes and level of awareness about discrimination and the forms of discrimination, it is precisely the Roma in Croatia who most often encounter discrimination and racism.

Although Croatia has a long history of religious coexistence, in direct work with women we hear more and more about Islamophobic incidents that specifically target women with headscarves - E.g. women refugees, are openly told by the apartment owners, they will not rent them an apartment because they are Muslim or they are harassed on the streets, in trams... 

We also see an increase in violence against women of different skin colour, such as physical attacks at bus stops and harassment at workplaces.

With the increase in the number of refugees in Croatia, xenophobic and hateful incidents directed at refugees and asylum seekers are increasingly visible, both in the media and in the everyday lives of people who have difficulty accessing rights and services or are attacked on the streets of their city.

And with the increase in the number of foreign workers from third countries such as Nepal, xenophobic and hateful incidents in public directed at foreign workers are also more visible, so, in just a few weeks in March 2023, we witnessed two physical and verbal attacks on foreign workers in Zagreb, which fortunately due to the media coverage received a quick response from the police.

Minimizing the motives of racial, ethnic and religious intolerance in cases of violence or discrimination favours a situation in which the system can claim that the problem of racism is not a problem of Croatian society and that cases of racism and discrimination are only isolated incidents.

An additional goal of creating the database is to make the system and the public aware that the problems of racism and discrimination are much more widespread, and often perpetuated by the public and state institutions themselves.

If you have been exposed to racism or discrimination in any area of life - housing, education, access to health care, or on our streets in the form of racial insults – contact:

> Pan-African Association in Croatia on Facebook or via e-mail (

> ROM HR Facebook or via e-mail (

or directly contact the Centre for Peace Studies at 

With your consent, we will record your case in the database, provide you with legal assistance and advise further legal steps if you want to take them.


The project is supported by the Minority Rights Group Europe and PILnet as part of the MARIO project, which is financed by the European Union's Citizens, Equality, Rights and Values fund.

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