General challenges to reporting hate crimes
Official hate crime data reported to ODIHR for 2019 vary widely from state to state. It is important to note that a lack of official hate crime data does not signal an absence of hate crime, but indicates that such crimes are not being recognized and recorded by law enforcement.
When states do not proactively monitor, record and encourage targeted groups to report hate crimes, the needs of hate crime victims go unmet and their access to justice is hindered. Equipping police with the proper tools and knowledge to recognize, record and investigate hate crime is essential to protecting individuals and communities and meeting victims’ needs.
No society is immune to hate crime. States that do not report hate crime data are falling short of their OSCE commitments to address such crimes. Putting in place mechanisms to record and collect comprehensive hate crime data – and reporting this data to ODIHR – forms a key part of these commitments. ODIHR continues to work with states’ National Points of Contact to address gaps in official hate crime data.
Another key challenge remains a lack of capacity among civil society organizations, in particular those working with groups experiencing long-term marginalization, such as Roma and persons with disabilities. Civil society continues to act as an important bridge between communities and the authorities by monitoring hate crime, receiving reports from victims and sharing this information. To be able to continue this vital work, civil society organizations require additional support and funding, and should be included in designing policies, strategies and programmes to comprehensively tackle hate crime.
ODIHR offers participating States a range of tools to help them meet hate crime victims’ needs, improve hate crime monitoring and recording practices and strengthen co-operation with civil society.