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Working with civil society

Civil society plays a crucial role in monitoring and reporting hate crimes. Data provided by NGOs form an important part of ODIHR’s hate crime data collection and offer indispensable context to participating States’ reporting on hate crimes.

ODIHR helps raise awareness of hate crimes among civil society and international organizations. It provides information about the characteristics of hate crimes and their impact on the stability and security of the community. ODIHR also supports civil society efforts to monitor and report hate crimes, NGOs outreach efforts in their communities and foster relationships between community groups and law enforcement so that victims feel confident to report crimes. ODIHR also encourages civil society advocacy for better hate crime laws.

Civil society organizations are particularly well placed to supplement participating States’ activities to address hate crime, especially by monitoring incidents and assisting victims. ODIHR will, therefore, continue to strengthen its co-operation with non-governmental organizations active in hate crime monitoring, recording and reporting as one important source of information about hate crime developments in participating States. States can also benefit from increasing co-operation with civil society in a number of ways. OSCE participating States should consider:

  • Exploring methods for facilitating the contribution of civil society to combating hate crime;
  • Conducting outreach and education with communities and civil society groups in order to increase confidence in law-enforcement agencies and to encourage better reporting of hate crimes;
  • Encouraging and supporting civil society organizations in providing assistance to victims;
  • Supporting efforts, in co-operation with civil society, to counter incitement to imminent violence and hate crimes, including through the Internet, while respecting freedom of expression; and
  • Creating local partnerships between civil society and law-enforcement agencies to report regularly on issues of concern and follow up on incidents. This can also serve as an early warning of rising tensions and enable proper resource allocation.

Larry Olomofe, ODIHR's Advisor for Combating Racism and Xenophobia, addresses participants at a workshop for NGOs on reporting and monitoring hate crimes against Roma and Sinti, Warsaw, 13 April 2011.

(OSCE/Curtis Budden)

Publication Date 
15 October 2009
Publication Title 
Preventing and responding to hate crimes: A resource guide for NGOs in the OSCE region
Publication (Other Language) 
Publication Title 
Français
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Русский
Publication Title 
Українська
Publication Title 
Türk
Publication Date 
2010
Publication Title 
Understanding Hate Crimes: Regional handbooks
Publication (Other Language) 
Publication Title 
Albania
Publication Title 
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Publication Title 
OSCE Mission to Kosovo
Publication Title 
OSCE Mission to Skopje
Publication Title 
Ukraine
Publication Date 
9 March 2015
Publication Title 
VIDEO: OSCE/ODIHR hate crime training for civil society
Publication (Other Language)