National frameworks to address hate crime in Malta

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

Hate crime recording and data collection

Malta does not have a specific system for recording hate crimes. On encountering a possible hate crime, frontline police officers use the generic crime report form and - under the heading "action taken" - provide a full description of the circumstances of the incident or crime, including the elements that point to a hate crime. There is no specific guidance document on how to identify hate crimes.

Hate crime victim support

Malta provides specialized support to victims of hate crimes.

Malta's Police Force has a general Victim Support Unit that provides aid to crime victims. It is additionally supported by a multidisciplinary Hate Crime and Speech Unit, consisting of specialists in the fields of psychology, social work and legal aid, which specifically caters to the needs of hate crime victims. The offered services include a physical venue for in-person consultations, online services, dedicated helplines, and legal aid throughout the criminal proceedings, as well as specialized support, including psychological counselling. The Unit has a therapeutic team, consisting of four specialists with a background in psychology and social well-being.

Individual needs assessments (INAs) are conducted by police, and victims of crime are referred to the Victim Support Unit. If they consent, victims of hate crime may also be referred to the Hate Crime and Speech Unit. The Unit conducts a further needs assessment and comes up with a six-month plan, which is subject to review. The assessment specifies whether victims need to be referred to other support providers. Victims of hate crime can access support services without filing a formal complaint. Emotional and psychological support is normally extended until the court proceedings are finalized. Interpretation is available during counselling sessions and court proceedings. The Hate Crime and Speech Unit also accepts referrals from other governmental agencies and civil society organizations.

Police are trained on hate crime and follow relevant internal guidelines. Victims are encouraged to file an evaluation form related to the service they receive.