Our mandate

Participating States have agreed that hate crimes are criminal offences committed with a bias motivation and that they shall pass legislation that provides for penalties that take into account the gravity of hate crime, to take action to address under-reporting, and to introduce or further develop capacity-building activities for law enforcement, prosecution and judicial officials to prevent, investigate and prosecute hate crimes. Furthermore, they have committed themselves to provide support to victims of hate crime, to include, cooperate with and facilitate the work of civil society, and to ensure a coordinated comprehensive approach to the tackling of hate crimes. The participating States’ commitments finally embrace collecting, maintaining and making public reliable data on hate crimes, across the criminal justice system from the police to the courts, as well as reporting such data to ODIHR. As the OSCE institution focusing on the human dimension of security, the Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) has been tasked with supporting states in their efforts to meet this range of commitments, and to support the efforts of civil society actors working to prevent and respond to hate crimes.

Specifically, the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) has been tasked by participating States to serve as a collection point for information, statistics and legislation on hate crimes, as well as on best practices in addressing hate crime, and to make this information publicly available with a view to defining the priorities of the OSCE in this area. This website is, thus, a significant step towards achieving the Office’s mandate in an accessible and transparent way.

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OSCE commitments on hate crime data collection and reporting

The following is a selection of the most relevant OSCE Ministerial Council (MC) decisions in the area of hate crime:

ODIHR has been tasked to:

  • - serve as a "collecting point for information and statistics collected by participating States" (MC DEC. 4/03, MC DEC. 12/04 Annex PC DEC. 607, Annex PC. DEC. 621); "to continue serving as a collecting point….[for] relevant legislation" (MC DEC. 13/06)

  • - "report its findings … and make its findings public" (PC DEC. 607, PC. DEC. 621); "Report regularly" (MC DEC. 4/03); "make its findings publicly available through TANDIS and its Report on Challenges and Responses to Hate-motivated Incidents in the OSCE region" (MC DEC. 13/06)

  • - "report regularly on these issues as a basis for deciding on priorities for future work" (MC DEC. 4/03); "these reports should be taken into account to decide on priorities of the OSCE in the area of tolerance" (MC Dec. 13/06)

  • - "continue  its  close  co-operation  with  other  relevant  intergovernmental agencies and civil society working in the field of promoting mutual respect  and  understanding  and  combating  intolerance  and  discrimination, including through hate crime data collection" (MC.DEC/13/06)

  • - "strengthen, within existing resources, its early warning function to identify, report and raise awareness on hate-motivated incidents and trends and to provide recommendations and assistance to participating States, upon their request, in areas where more adequate responses are needed" (MC DEC. 13/06)

Participating States have committed themselves to:

  • - "nominate, if they have not yet done so, a national point of contact on hate crimes to periodically report to the ODIHR reliable information and statistics on hate crimes" (MC Decision No. 9/09)

  • - "collect, maintain and make public, reliable data and statistics in sufficient detail on hate crimes and violent manifestations of intolerance, including the numbers of cases reported to law enforcement, the numbers prosecuted and the sentences imposed" (MC Decision No. 9/09)

  • - "periodically report to the ODIHR reliable information and statistics on hate crimes" (MC Decision No. 9/09)

  • - "take appropriate measures to encourage victims to report hate crimes, recognizing that under-reporting of hate crimes prevents States from devising efficient policies. In this regard, explore, as complementary measures, methods for facilitating the contribution of civil society to combat hate crimes" (MC Decision No. 9/09)

  • - "[acknowledge] that hate crimes are criminal offences committed with a bias motive" (MC Decision No.9/09)

  • - "enact (…) specific, tailored legislation to combat hate crimes, providing for effective penalties that take into account the gravity of such crimes" (MC Decision No. 9/09)

  • - "promptly investigate hate crimes and ensure that the motives of those convicted of hate crimes are acknowledged" (MC Decision No. 9/09)

  • - "introduce or further develop professional training and capacity-building activities for law-enforcement, prosecution and judicial officials dealing with hate crimes"

  • - "conduct awareness raising and education efforts, particularly with law enforcement authorities, directed towards communities and civil society groups that assist victims of hate crimes"

  • - "consider drawing on resources developed by the ODIHR in the area of education, training and awareness raising to ensure a comprehensive approach to the tackling of hate crimes" (MC Decision No. 9/09)

  • - "promote capacity-building of law enforcement authorities through training and the development of guidelines on the most effective and appropriate way to respond to bias-motivated crime, to increase a positive interaction between police and victims and to encourage reporting by victims of hate crime, i.e., training for front-line officers, implementation of outreach programmes to improve relations between police and the public and training in providing referrals for victim assistance and protection" (MC Decision 13/06)

  • - "in co-operation with relevant actors, explore ways to provide victims of hate crimes with access to counselling, legal and consular assistance as well as effective access to justice" (MC Decision No. 9/09)

  • - "facilitate the capacity development of civil society to (…) assist victims of hate crimes" (MC Decision 13/06)

  • - "facilitate the capacity development of civil society to contribute in monitoring and reporting hate-motivated incidents and to assist victims of hate crimes" (MC Decision 13/06)

  • - "engage more actively in encouraging civil society's activities through effective partnerships and strengthened dialogue and co-operation between civil society and State authorities (…), including by establishing local, regional or national consultation mechanisms where appropriate" (MC Decision 13/06)"ensure a comprehensive approach to the tackling of hate crimes;" (MC Decision No. 9/09)

  • - "ensure a comprehensive approach to the tackling of hate crimes;" (MC Decision No. 9/09)

The bias motivation pages provide information on biases underlying the hate crimes and presents data reported on hate crimes according to those biases. ODIHR is mandated to report hate crimes based on six bias-motivation categories: racist and xenophobic hate crime; anti-Roma hate crime; anti-Semitic hate crime; anti-Muslim hate crime; anti-Christian hate crime; other hate crime based on religion or belief. Furthermore, there are three categories of bias motivation that are most frequently reported to ODIHR as being recorded by participating States: gender-based hate crime; anti-LGBTI hate crime; disability hate crime.

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Our methodology      Hate crime data