The OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) marked the International Day for Tolerance on 16 November by publishing its hate crime data report for 2015.
“Recording solid data is the first step in effectively countering hate crime. It is only by having a clear picture of the situation that local authorities can develop the appropriate tools to respond to these crimes,” said ODIHR Director Michael Georg Link. “Much is still to be done to overcome the current levels of under-recording, and full implementation of hate crime legal provisions remains challenging. ODIHR supports the efforts of all participating States to meet their commitments in this area.”
The 2015 hate crime data include official information submitted by 41 participating States, as well as incidents reported by three international organisations and 113 civil society groups, covering a total of 41 countries.
“One trend that emerges from the 2015 hate crime data is the continuous under-reporting of hate crimes. Notable areas include hate crimes motivated by bias against Roma and Sinti people and against people with disabilities,” said Cristina Finch, Head of ODIHR’s Tolerance and Non-Discrimination department. “We continue to encourage participating States to work closely and proactively with civil society to reach out to all victims and communities.”
As part of its capacity-building efforts, ODIHR hosted the annual meeting with National Points of Contact on hate crime – who are responsible for reporting hate crime data with ODIHR – in Warsaw on 16 and 17 November 2016. This meeting, which brought together government officials from 35 participating States, provided a forum for sharing good practices and strengthening co-operation between states and ODIHR on hate crime data collection.
ODIHR’s hate crime data can be found at http://hatecrime.osce.org.
UNITED has a strong working partnership with ODIHR focusing on civil society responses to hate crimes. In 2014, UNITED published the infoleaflet “Hate Crimes in the OSCE Region: Incidents and Responses” in partnership with ODIHR, while ODIHR has also organised several training sessions for civil society representatives at UNITED conferences, most recently in Republic of Macedonia following the UNITED conference “Living Together: Transform a divided past into our common future.”
This article is partly based on a press release, which you can read here.