Be an active bystander




Recognize and observe that someone is on the receiving end of racist behavior. Is the person in danger? Do they need someone’s help?


Before reacting notice your environment. Can you help without putting yourself in danger? Are there people around? Is the perpetrator’s behavior violent or not?

* If the situation is too dangerous (such as there is the threat of violence or you are outnumbered) wait for the situation to pass then later ask the person targeted if they are OK. Or report it when it’s safe to do so.

3. REACT – (5) TIPS


  • Show the perpetrator that you disagree with their negative behaviour
  • Don’t aggravate the situation – in a calm and polite way state why something has offended you and ask them to stop.
  • Distract. Start a conversation with them in order to help the person targeted move away or ask for the intervention of others.

Person Targeted

  • Talk to the person targeted
  • Ask him/her if s/he is well
  • Distract. Find an excuse to keep him/her busy. Tell him/her s/he needs to call or that you need to talk to him/her.


  • Try to act in a group
  • If you are too embarrassed to talk to the perpetrator, or you don’t feel safe to do so, get someone else to step in.


  • Report the incident to the Police (100), if the situation calls for it.
  • ALWAYS remember to check with the person targeted before calling law enforcement. Some individuals may fear and/or distrust law enforcement because of previous abusive or traumatizing experiences or not having legal documents.


  • Record the incident on video. When recording make sure to:
  • Keep a safe distance
  • Film landmarks (e.g. a subway platform sign or record number plate if the harasser gets into a car)
  • Hold the camera steady
  • Clearly state the date and time that you are filming
  • If and when recording, keep in mind could exposing the identity of any persons put them in further danger?