Assisting law makers


Adoption of adequate legislation to define and punish hate crimes is a key first step in addressing the problem. Participating States should:

  • Enact, where appropriate, specific, tailored legislation to combat hate crime, in line with Decision 9/09 of the OSCE Ministerial Council,498 providing for effective penalties that take into account the gravity of such crimes; and
  • Review existing legislation as appropriate to ensure, in particular, that there is specific provision for hate crimes to be subject to enhanced sentencing. The ODIHR publication Hate Crime Laws – A Practical Guide could serve as a reference tool for such reviews.