Thirty-nine participating States have submitted some hate crime information to ODIHR for 2017. Of these, 34 provided statistics, while 23 provided statistics that are disaggregated by bias motivation.
The official figures are complemented by reports on hate incidents from 124 civil society groups, covering 47 participating States. These contributions amount to 5,843 hate incidents, including 3,265 disaggregated statistical incidents and 2,572 descriptive incidents. This information includes incidents provided by the Holy See, the UNHCR, the IOM and OSCE missions.
General challenges to reporting hate crimes
Under-reporting remains a key challenge. Many victims do not come forward to report hate crimes. This happens for a number of reasons, ranging from language barriers to mistrust in the authorities or fear of reprisals. ODIHR works closely with civil society to overcome this challenge and promote and assist in strengthening co-operation between civil society and governments.
Secondly, our data indicate that not all incidents reported to the authorities are recognized as potential hate crimes, or registered and processed as such.
Finally, it is also often difficult to track cases of hate crimes at all stages, from complaint through sentencing, due to different recording procedures or differences in understanding what hate crimes are across criminal justice systems. For instance, police forces may use different definitions than prosecutors.
To help states understand these challenges better, ODIHR has published a methodology on how to conduct victimization surveys, which can help map the level of unreported hate crime and the experiences victims had with criminal justice bodies when they did report hate crimes. This complements the recently launched Information Against Hate Crimes Toolkit (INFAHCT) programme, which helps states diagnose and correct issues in their hate crime data-collection mechanisms.
Learn more about ODIHR’s capacity-building programmes here.