Serbia regularly reports data on hate crimes to ODIHR. Serbia's Criminal Code contains a general penalty-enhancement provision and a substantive offence. The data reported to ODIHR also include cases of incitement to hatred and other hate speech offences. Serbia’s Prosecutor's Office collects data on hate crime.
Hate crimes recorded by police
A breakdown of police recorded hate crimes by bias motivation is not available. Nine hate crimes were reported as recorded by police. The presented number only includes hate crimes as defined by the OSCE, and includes cases of incitement of hatred aggravated by violent action.
Ensuring the adequate prosecution of hate crimes is part of the national action plan prepared for negotiations on accession to the European Union. The plans include sections on organizing joint trainings for judges, public prosecutors and police officers, raising awareness to eliminate hate crimes through the preparation and distribution of educational materials, and active media campaigns, improving the recording of hate crimes and increasing the effectiveness of hate crime investigations.
In its third report on Serbia, the European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI) recommended the designation and specialized training of contact points within the police and prosecution services across the country for vulnerable groups; the establishment of a hate crime data recording and collection system; and prompt investigation, prosecution and sentencing in hate crime cases. ECRI further recommended that prosecutors make explicit reference to the aggravating circumstance provision in indictments, when relevant.
The EU encouraged Serbia to ensure adequate prosecution of hate crimes during the fourth meeting of the EU-Serbia Stabilisation and Association Council.
ODIHR observes that the law enforcement agencies of Serbia have not recorded the bias motivations of hate crimes.