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Our mandate

Participating States have committed themselves to pass legislation that provides for penalties that take into account the gravity of hate crime, to take action to address under-reporting, and to introduce or further develop capacity-building activities for law enforcement, prosecution and judicial officials to prevent, investigate and prosecute hate crimes. Specifically, states have repeatedly committed themselves to collect, maintain and make public reliable data on hate crimes, across the criminal justice system from the police to the courts. In recent years, participating States have consolidated their commitments on hate crime in recognition of the importance of a comprehensive approach in addressing the many facets of the problem.

As the OSCE institution focusing on the human dimension of security, the Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) has been tasked with supporting states in their efforts to meet this range of commitments, and to support the efforts of civil society actors working to prevent and respond to hate crimes.

Specifically, the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) has been tasked by participating States to serve as a collection point for information, statistics and legislation on hate crimes, as well as on best practices in addressing hate crime, and to make this information publicly available with a view to defining the priorities of the OSCE in this area. This website is, thus, a significant step towards achieving the Office’s mandate in an accessible and transparent way.

 

OSCE commitments on hate crime data collection and reporting

The following is a selection of the most recent and relevant OSCE Ministerial Council (MC) decisions in the area of hate crime data collection and reporting:

ODIHR has been tasked to:

  • serve as a "collecting point for information and statistics collected by participating States" (MC DEC. 4/03, MC DEC. 12/04 Annex PC DEC. 607, Annex PC. DEC. 621); "to continue serving as a collecting point….[for] relevant legislation" (MC DEC. 13/06)

  • "report its findings … and make its findings public" (PC DEC. 607, PC. DEC. 621); "Report regularly" (MC DEC. 4/03); "make its findings publicly available through TANDIS and its Report on Challenges and Responses to Hate-motivated Incidents in the OSCE region" (MC DEC. 13/06)

  • "report regularly on these issues as a basis for deciding on priorities for future work" (MC DEC. 4/03); "these reports should be taken into account to decide on priorities of the OSCE in the area of tolerance" (MC Dec. 13/06)

Participating States have committed themselves to:

  • "nominate, if they have not yet done so, a national point of contact on hate crimes to periodically report to the ODIHR reliable information and statistics on hate crimes" (MC Decision No. 9/09)

  • "periodically report to the ODIHR reliable information and statistics on hate crimes" (MC Decision No. 9/09)

  • "collect, maintain and make public, reliable data and statistics in sufficient detail on hate crimes and violent manifestations of intolerance, including the numbers of cases reported to law enforcement, the numbers prosecuted and the sentences imposed." (MC Decision No. 9/09)

  • "take appropriate measures to encourage victims to report hate crimes, recognizing that under-reporting of hate crimes prevents States from devising efficient policies. In this regard, explore, as complementary measures, methods for facilitating the contribution of civil society to combat hate crimes" (MC Decision No. 9/09)

  • "promptly investigate hate crimes and ensure that the motives of those convicted of hate crimes are acknowledged" (MC Decision No. 9/09)

  • "[acknowledge] that hate crimes are criminal offences committed with a bias motive" (MC Decision No.9/09)

  • "collect and maintain reliable information and statistics about anti-Semitic crimes (…), report such information periodically to OSCE ODIHR" (Annex to MC Decision No. 12/04; PC Decision No. 607)

  • "collect and maintain reliable information and statistics about hate crimes motivated by racism, xenophobia and related discrimination and intolerance (…), report such information periodically to OSCE ODIHR" (Annex to MC Decision No. 12/04; PC Decision No. 621)

  • "[build] the capacity of law enforcement agencies and personnel to identify, collect data, investigate and prosecute hate crimes against Roma and Sinti" (MC Decision No. 4/13)

 

The bias motivation pages provide information on biases underlying the hate crimes and presents data reported on hate crimes according to those biases. ODIHR is mandated to report hate crimes based on six bias-motivation categories: racism and xenophobia, bias against Roma and Sinti, anti-Semitism, anti-Muslim bias, bias against Christians and members of other religions, and other bias motivations. The last category includes reports on those bias motivations that are most frequently reported to ODIHR as being recorded by participating States. Currently, this section includes bias-motivated crimes against LGBT people and against people with disabilities.

 


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