you're reading...
Institutional and Legal Affairs, PUBLICATIONS

Combating hate crimes in the European Union

How can hate crimes be effectively tackled by both Member States and the European Union? This was the central question of a panel debate organised by the European Parliament’s Anti-Racism and Diversity Intergroup (ARDI) and the Fundamental Rights Agency (FRA) on 29 November 2012.

Presentation of new FRA reports on hate crimes

Hate button on keyboard

Copyright mtkang, 2012.
Used under licence from Shutterstock.com

The event began with the presentation of two new reports on hate crime by the FRA. Both reports show that violence and crimes motivated by racism, xenophobia, religious intolerance or by a person’s disability, sexual orientation or gender identity are a daily reality in the European Union. Another relevant finding which emerged from the reports is that the majority of victims do not report crimes. In addition to that, only a few Member States maintain comprehensive data collection mechanisms. FRA stresses that making hate crimes visible and acknowledging the rights of victims is of considerable importance. It proposes that this be achieved by recognising hate crime in both national and European legislation, by collecting comprehensive data on incidents and by setting up mechanisms to encourage victims to report.

The work of the ODIHR

The issue of under-reported and under-recorded cases of hate crime was also highlighted by the Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODHIR), which among others collects and publishes data on hate crimes in the OSCE region. Moreover, the institution pointed to the need for better enforcement of existing laws. To this end, ODHIR has developed special tools for law enforcement officers and prosecutors in the OSCE States.

Limitations of EU law

On the European level, hate crimes are prohibited by Framework Decision 2008/913/JHA. However, this instrument is only limited to racism and xenophobia, which leaves Member States the room not to criminalise hate crimes based on other grounds such as sexual orientation and disability. Moreover, three Member States have not yet submitted any notifications of implementing measures. At the moment the European Commission is assessing the compliance of national laws with EU law. An implementation report is due in 2013.

Discussion

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Pingback: The week on the EP Library’s blog: From Oslo with Love « Library of the European Parliament - December 14, 2012

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Download the EPRS App

EPRS App on Google Play
EPRS App on App Store
What Europe Does For You
EU Legislation in Progress
Topical Digests
EPRS Podcasts

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 3,319 other followers

Disclaimer and Copyright statement

The content of all documents (and articles) contained in this blog is the sole responsibility of the author and any opinions expressed therein do not necessarily represent the official position of the European Parliament. It is addressed to the Members and staff of the EP for their parliamentary work. Reproduction and translation for non-commercial purposes are authorised, provided the source is acknowledged and the European Parliament is given prior notice and sent a copy.

For a comprehensive description of our cookie and data protection policies, please visit Terms and Conditions page.

Copyright © European Union, 2014-2019. All rights reserved.

%d bloggers like this: