ODIHR's impact in 2021: Marking 15 years of reporting hate crimes
In a year of milestones, 2021 was another record for ODIHR: 15 years since its annual hate crime report was first published. The yearly update constitutes the largest database on hate crime in the world, and combines statistical data, information and analysis about hate crimes from across the OSCE region.
Each year, ODIHR staff review hate crime statistics, data and information submitted by States, civil society and intergovernmental organizations. The information and data – broken down by hate crime bias, type of crime and country – are then published on ODIHR’s dedicated Hate Crime Reporting website on 16 November, International Tolerance Day. The reporting process continues throughout the year and depends on the contributions of state-nominated national points of contact and civil society organizations working to gather and report data to ODIHR.
The official data comprise statistics recorded by police, as well as country-specific information about hate crime legislation, data collection and victim support initiatives. Hate incidents submitted by civil society and intergovernmental organizations include descriptions of thousands of hate incidents, many of which would otherwise go unreported. Additionally, the report presents recommendations issued by intergovernmental organizations alongside ODIHR’s own key observations on States’ adherence to their OSCE commitments in the field of hate crime.
Data collection is just the first step, however, and work to address hate crime does not end on publication day. The data and information help policymakers, police, prosecutors, civil society actors and others to track hate crimes and identify emerging trends, facilitating targeted responses and appropriate support for victims. The data also guide ODIHR’s own work to address hate crime, enabling the Office to tailor its training programmes and resources accordingly.
"ODIHR’s Hate Crime Report has added weight to our own hate crime findings by bringing these to the attention of European and international actors. We have relied on ODIHR’s accessible dataset to help raise the alarm about hate crimes in Greece and strengthen our advocacy efforts at home and abroad."
— Garyfallia Anastasopoulou, Assistant Coordinator of the Racist Violence and Recording Network (RVRN), Greece.
Over the years, ODIHR’s report has contributed to a sea change in awareness of hate crime. Having the data to illustrate the problem, hate crimes and their impact on victims and wider society ensures the phenomenon is not dismissed or downplayed. By shining a light on the issue, ODIHR’s hate crime report has helped shape policy responses, strengthen legislative frameworks, and ensure that hate crimes are effectively recorded, investigated and prosecuted across the OSCE region. As the data set has grown, so too has co-operation with other intergovernmental organizations working to address hate crime. The result has been a more coherent and robust response to hate crime at national and international levels.
Since its inception, the report has evolved from a paper publication to a more interactive, user-friendly website that filters hate crime data and information according to year, country, and the bias motivation underlying the hate crime. The website, which also contains tools and resources for lawmakers, police, prosecutors and civil society, is available in both English and Russian.