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What do we know

Participating States have committed themselves to 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. Specifically, states have repeatedly committed themselves to collect, maintain and make public reliable data on hate crimes, across the criminal justice system from the police to the courts. In recent years, participating States have consolidated their commitments on hate crime in recognition of the importance of a comprehensive approach in addressing the many facets of the problem.

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.

Every year, ODIHR publishes data on hate crimes and hate incidents from participating States, civil society organizations and international organizations. These data are released on International Tolerance Day, which falls on 16 November.

Much of the information and data presented on this website has been provided by National Points of Contact on Combating Hate Crimes (NPCs), appointed by the governments of participating States. Particular attention is devoted to gathering data relating to the specific bias motivations on which ODIHR has been asked to focus.


2019 Hate Crime Data

39 OSCE participating States have submitted hate crime information to ODIHR for 2019. Of these, 37 provided statistics, while 25 provided statistics disaggregated by bias motivation.

The official figures are complemented by reports on hate incidents from 148 civil society groups, covering 45 participating States. These contributions amount to 6,964 hate incidents, including 3,207 disaggregated statistical incidents and 3,757 descriptive incidents. This information includes incidents provided by the Holy See, UNHCR, IOM and OSCE missions.

Learn more about our annual hate crime reporting efforts here.

General challenges to reporting hate crimes

Official hate crime data reported to ODIHR for 2019 vary widely from state to state. It is important to note that a lack of official hate crime data does not signal an absence of hate crime, but indicates that such crimes are not being recognized and recorded by law enforcement.

When states do not proactively monitor, record and encourage targeted groups to report hate crimes, the needs of hate crime victims go unmet and their access to justice is hindered. Equipping police with the proper tools and knowledge to recognize, record and investigate hate crime is essential to protecting individuals and communities and meeting victims’ needs.

No society is immune to hate crime. States that do not report hate crime data are falling short of their OSCE commitments to address such crimes. Putting in place mechanisms to record and collect comprehensive hate crime data – and reporting this data to ODIHR – forms a key part of these commitments. ODIHR continues to work with states’ National Points of Contact to address gaps in official hate crime data.

Another key challenge remains a lack of capacity among civil society organizations, in particular those working with groups experiencing long-term marginalization, such as Roma and persons with disabilities. Civil society continues to act as an important bridge between communities and the authorities by monitoring hate crime, receiving reports from victims and sharing this information. To be able to continue this vital work, civil society organizations require additional support and funding, and should be included in designing policies, strategies and programmes to comprehensively tackle hate crime.

ODIHR offers participating States a range of tools to help them meet hate crime victims’ needs, improve hate crime monitoring and recording practices and strengthen co-operation with civil society. In 2020, ODIHR, in partnership with the Association of Counselling Centers for Victims of Right-wing, Racist and Anti-Semitic Violence in Germany (VBRG), launched a project on Enhancing Stakeholder Awareness and Resources for Hate Crime Victim Support (EStAR). The project is designed to equip state and non-state actors with the necessary tools and resources to ensure that hate crime victims are protected, enjoy full access to justice and receive tailored specialist support.