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Racism and xenophobia

Racism is prejudice or hostility towards a person's race, colour, language, nationality, or national or ethnic origin. While some communities are particularly vulnerable, any ethnic group can be the target of racism. Intolerant discourse in the media or from politicians can lead to increased racist sentiments towards migrants and other minorities, including in the form of scapegoating in times of economic crisis. ODIHR's annual reporting on hate crime in the OSCE area has demonstrated that racist attacks can take a range of forms, targeting people from diverse groups across the region. Violent attacks by groups of perpetrators against migrants and ethnic minorities, as well as damage to businesses and property owned by or associated with established ethnic communities are common features of this type of crime.

The OSCE has long recognized the threat to international security posed by racism, xenophobia and related forms of intolerance. Participating States condemned racial and ethnic hatred as early 1990. At the Ministerial Council meeting in Maastricht in 2003, participating States committed themselves to combat hate crimes fuelled by racist or xenophobic propaganda and to publicly denounce such crimes.

Most participating States reported that they record hate crime data according to at least one category related to racism and xenophobia, such as "race"/colour, nationality/ethnicity/national origin, citizenship or language. The differences in recording and reporting policies among participating States present a number of challenges for ODIHR when interpreting and verifying information received. Data from different participating States can be incomparable due, for example, to inconsistencies about which groups are legally protected and monitored. There is also a risk that the same data might be double counted in general statistics. For example, anti-Semitic hate crime might be reported separately or included under the broader category of racist hate crime, or both. While the number of NGOs reporting to ODIHR has increased, victims' negative experiences in police responses and a lack of capacity of NGOs to monitor and report on the phenomenon contribute to the problem of under-reporting.

ODIHR | TANDIS



SELECT YEAR

International Reports

Armenia

The United Nations Human Rights Council Working Group on the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) published relevant recommendations in its "Report from the thirty-fifth session: Compilation on Armenia."

The United Nations Human Rights Council Working Group on the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) published relevant recommendations in its "Report from the forty-fourth session: Compilation on Armenia."

Austria

The European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI) published relevant recommendations in its "Sixth report on Austria."

Bulgaria

The United Nations Human Rights Council Working Group on the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) published relevant recommendations in its "Report from the Thirty-sixth session: Compilation on Bulgaria."

The Commissioner for Human Rights of the Council of Europe published relevant recommendations in her "Report following a visit to Bulgaria.

Croatia

The Council of Europe's Committee of Ministers published relevant recommendations in its "Decision adopted at the 1377th meeting, on execution of the Court's judgments."

Denmark

The European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI) published relevant recommendations in its "Conclusions on the Implementation of the Recommendations in Respect of Denmark."

Finland

The Council of Europe's Committee of Ministers published relevant recommendations in its "Resolution on the Implementation of the Framework Convention for the protection of National Minorities by Finland."

Georgia

The Council of Europe's Committee of Ministers published relevant recommendations in its "Resolution on the Implementation of the Framework Convention for the protection of National Minorities by Georgia."

Germany

The European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI) published relevant recommendations in its "Sixth report on Germany."

Ireland

The United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD) published relevant recommendations in its "Concluding observations on the combined fifth to ninth reports of Ireland."

Netherlands

The Council of Europe's Committee of Ministers published relevant recommendations in its "Resolution on the Implementation of the Framework Convention for the protection of National Minorities by the Netherlands."

Spain

The United Nations Human Rights Council Working Group on the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) published relevant recommendations in its "Report from the thirty-fifth session: Compilation on Spain."

Sweden

The United Nations Human Rights Council Working Group on the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) published relevant recommendations in its "Report from the thirty-fifth session: Compilation on Sweden."

Switzerland

The European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI) published relevant recommendations in its "Sixth report on Switzerland."

Ukraine

The United Nations Independent Expert on protection against violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity published relevant recommendations in his "Report on the visit to Ukraine."

OSCE Region

The Council of Europe's Parliamentary Assembly published relevant recommendations in its "Prevention of violence and discrimination against religious minorities amongst refugees in Europe."