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2016 Data: Frequently Asked Questions

15 November 2017

ODIHR is making some changes to how it reports on hate crimes and incidents. Find out more about these, and how we compile data on hate crimes.

1) Why does ODIHR publish hate crime data every year?

ODIHR publishes information on hate crimes and incidents across the region because it was tasked by OSCE participating States to present statistics and information on hate crime legislation, investigation, prosecution and sentencing, as well as to share best practices.


2) Where does the information come from?

The information ODIHR gathers is provided by governments, civil society groups and international organizations. The data are reviewed to ensure that they fall within the OSCE’s definition of hate crime before being published. 


3) What are the changes to official figures?

ODIHR has introduced a new presentation for official data submitted by participating States, with updated graphics and the ability to download the official numbers in .csv files.

Country pages also now include information, when available, on the mechanisms to record and process hate crimes in each participating State. This summary can be found at the top of the page, under the heading “How hate crime data are collected.”


4) What are the changes to hate incidents reported by other sources?

Now all incidents reported by civil society groups, international organizations and the Holy See are presented together and disaggregated by country, bias motivation and type of incident (violent attacks against people, threats, and attacks against property). Two types of incidents are submitted to ODIHR: statistical incidents and descriptive incidents.

Statistical incidents are numbers disaggregated by country, bias motivation and type of incident. These numbers appear in the overview of incidents provided for each state, but are not included in the descriptive tables below these graphics. Of the 5,672 hate incidents reported to ODIHR, 3,506 are statistical incidents that cover nine participating States.

Descriptive incidents comprise detailed descriptions that were submitted to ODIHR. These incidents were reviewed, summarized and disaggregated by country, bias motivation and type of incident. These incidents are displayed in tables that also include the reporting organization and are available for download on country pages. It is important to note that downloadable files do not include statistical incidents. Of the 5,672 hate incidents reported to ODIHR for 2016, 2,166 were descriptive incidents that are all available for download from this website.

2016 is also the first year for which descriptive incidents can be filtered according to users’ preference and downloaded for analysis. This new function can be found on the Incidents overview page


5) Why do numbers for incidents not always match on country pages and bias motivation pages?

Because of the presence of statistical incidents, the total number of incidents presented in graphics will not always be the same as the number of descriptive incidents available in the relevant tables. An explanatory note will be visible when this is the case. All of the incidents displayed on were disaggregated by type of crime, by bias motivation and by country.

Some incidents involve more than one type of crime or bias motivation. As such, the total number of incidents might be lower than the total number of columns disaggregated by bias motivation and by type of crime.

Finally, incidents can include more than one victim, but are counted as single incidents.


6) What are key observations?

Found at the bottom of each country page, key observations are prepared by ODIHR based on the commitments on hate crime made by the participating States. The issues addressed by the observations range from those related to basic commitments, such as the need to periodically report some information or data to ODIHR on hate crimes, to more specific commitments, such as providing data disaggregated by bias motivations, or encouraging victims to report in collaboration with civil society.

These recommendations can draw governments’ attention to potential gaps in their hate crime data collection, and help them help identify areas for improvement.

  • ODIHR has a host of programmes to assist governments and law enforcement agencies in meeting their hate crime commitments, and to assist civil society in supporting these efforts. Read more about them here.


7) Why do you include information on incidents from civil society?

Reports on hate incidents from civil society groups play a critical role in our hate crime reporting, complementing and contextualizing official figures. Information from civil society allows for a better understanding of the impact and nature of hate crimes. This is often the only available information in the absence of official data. This is because some incidents are only reported to civil society groups and not to the authorities, or because different monitoring definitions might be used.

We analyse hundreds of civil society reports and carefully clarify information about specific incidents or statistical data to ensure that they are accurately reported.