National frameworks to address hate crime in Iceland

This page provides information on the national frameworks to address hate crime in Iceland. The information provided here should be viewed alongside data presented on Iceland's hate crime report page.

Hate crime recording and data collection

Iceland's data, collected by the National Police Commissioner, include cases of discrimination and defamation. There is no systematic collection of hate crime statistics in Iceland across the criminal justice system. Reported criminal offences are registered in a central police database (LÖKE).

While hate speech is specifically covered by law, hate crime is only covered by a general provision of the criminal code that relates to the motive of the perpetrator.

"Possible Hate Crimes" are registered in the police database as an addition to the registered offence based on the existence of a potential bias motive. The type of motive is also registered. Motives available for registration include: sexual orientation, gender identity, religion (other), religion (anti-Semitism), religion (anti-Christian), religion (anti-Muslim), racist - xenophobic bias and other.

Hate crimes are not recorded by prosecutors or the judiciary, only hate speech. 

The National Commissioner of Police conducts victimization surveys; the 2021 survey included questions about possible bias motivation. The results of the 2021 survey are published here.

Hate crime victim support

Iceland provides for specialized support for victims of hate crimes as part of its general victim support scheme.

The Family Justice Center in Reykjavík – a one-stop-shop for adult victims of violence – offers counselling, legal advice and interpretation services free of charge. The Center operates through the co-operation of law enforcement, public and municipal administration, and civil society. The Center is attended by a police officer specialized in hate crimes. Women victims of hate crime can seek protection at a shelter, while migrants can address the Icelandic Human Rights Centre – a specialized civil society organization.

Hate crime capacity building

In 2017, Iceland implemented ODIHR's Training Against Hate Crime for Law Enforcement (TAHCLE) and the Prosecutors and Hate Crimes Training (PAHCT) programmes.