ODIHR's impact in 2019: Supporting a diagnostic approach to hate crime data collection
This impact story examines ODIHR's work to help states establish robust hate crime data collection and monitoring systems.
Data collection is the first step towards combating hate crime, as reliable information and statistics are needed to develop targeted policies and customize support for victims. It is therefore essential that OSCE participating States establish robust systems for monitoring and collecting accurate and comprehensive hate crime data in line with their OSCE commitments.
As part of its Information Against Hate Crimes Toolkit (INFAHCT) programme, ODIHR provides technical assistance to improve hate crime monitoring and data collection systems upon the request of national authorities. This assistance is customized based on preliminary diagnostic workshops that draw on local expertise to pinpoint gaps and identify areas for improvement. ODIHR has held diagnostic workshops in 11 participating States, providing tailored follow-up recommendations for each country.
Implementation of these recommendations in 2019 demonstrates the effectiveness of this diagnostic approach. The most widespread improvements relate to the recording of hate crimes, including through changes to IT systems, law enforcement policies and the ability to track hate crimes in the criminal justice system. The following are examples of actions taken by participating States in 2019:
- In Hungary, the police chief issued a binding order for police on hate crime recording and investigation, including an instruction on registering bias indicators;
- Spain developed a new template for police to use specifically to record hate crimes. Changes were also introduced to improve how hate crimes are identified and flagged by police; and
- In Portugal, the Criminal (Judicial) Police introduced a “hate crime flag” into their electronic police recording system.
The wide-ranging assistance provided through the INFAHCT programme complements ODIHR’s other hate crime tools, which equip police, prosecutors and civil society organizations with the skills to investigate, prosecute and monitor bias-motivated crime.
“Following ODIHR’s recommendations, we recently introduced changes to how our police categorize and record hate crimes. This has improved our capacity to track hate crime cases, resulting in a more efficient use of police time and resources.”
— Police Lieutenant Colonel Csilla Nagygyőr, national co-ordinator of hate-crime investigations in the Hungarian National Police