13 September 2017
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Bias against other groups – People with disabilities
Prejudice against people with disabilities is a belief that people with physical or mental impairments are inferior. People with disabilities face significant physical and social barriers to full participation in society. Lack of access to public transport and other basic services are common experiences, as well as entrenched prejudices that affect chances for employment, friendships and a full family life. Hate crimes against people with disabilities are often characterized by low level crime committed by people known to the victim such as petty theft or damage to mobility aids, escalating to very serious attacks involving torture and even murder.
A limited but growing number of governments provide official data on hate crime against people with disabilities. NGOs also report information on incidents motivated by bias against people with disabilities, as well as against homeless people. There is a low awareness of disability hate crime, and knowledge about how to monitor incidents motivated by hostility against people with disabilities among civil society organizations and the general public. As a result the data in this section is sparse.
In its report, the Working Group on the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) for Poland, recommended that the criminal code be amended to include sexual orientation, gender identity and disability among the protected characteristics listed in its hate crime provisions.
In the framework of Universal Periodic Review (UPR), the United Nations Human Rights Committee expressed concern that Poland's criminal code did not include disability, age, sexual orientation and gender identity as bias motivations for hate crimes. The Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD) recommended that Poland amend its criminal code to make any racial motivation for a crime an aggravating circumstance.
In its report on the implementation of the European Disability Strategy, the EU Parliament's Committee on Employment and Social Affairs called on the European Commission to ensure that its work on improving hate crime data collection fully include disability hate crime.