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Supporting law makers

ODIHR helps participating States design and draft legislation that effectively addresses hate crimes. To that end, ODIHR has developed a practical guide assisting law makers in fulfilment of this role. On the request of the participating States, ODIHR also reviews and comments on draft versions of hate crime legislation.

Adoption of adequate legislation to define and punish hate crimes is a key first step in addressing the problem. Participating States should:

  • Enact, where appropriate, specific, tailored legislation to combat hate crime, in line with Decision 9/09 of the OSCE Ministerial Council,498 providing for effective penalties that take into account the gravity of such crimes; and
  • Review existing legislation as appropriate to ensure, in particular, that there is specific provision for hate crimes to be subject to enhanced sentencing. The ODIHR publication Hate Crime Laws – A Practical Guide could serve as a reference tool for such reviews.

A courthouse in Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur, France.

(OSCE/Marharyta Zhesko)

Publication Date 
9 March 2009
Publication Title 
Hate Crime Laws - A Practical Guide
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