New York, NY, December 3, 2014 … As the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) prepares for a Ministerial meeting in Basel, Switzerland on December 4, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) released a scorecard of how the 57 participating States are responding to hate crime, anti-Semitism and all forms of bigotry and proposed recommendations for action.
The annual analysis, prepared jointly with Human Rights First (HRF), analyzes data gathered by OSCE’s Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) and rates countries’ performance in meeting their obligations to address anti-Semitism and hate crime.
“The stunning rise in anti-Semitism and other forms of bigotry is a threat to the vitality of pluralism and democracy, and to fundamental freedoms across the region,” said Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director. “Especially with the electoral success of some political parties that espouse bigotry, a strong and dramatic response by governments is crucial.”
ADL said the findings from its report are concerning in light of its recent survey which found that anti-Semitic attitudes are still deeply entrenched on the continent, with 24 percent of the adult population in Western Europe and 34 percent in Eastern Europe harboring anti-Semitic attitudes.
A joint letter to Secretary of State John Kerry from Human Rights First, ADL, and the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights expressed the significance of mobilizing U.S. allies and partners to endorse the Berlin recommendations as a path forward to confront anti-Semitism and hate violence.
“We commend the nations that have already taken steps to address hate crime violence in their countries,” Mr. Foxman said. “Their leadership should serve as an example of how other OSCE participating States can respond because anti-Semitism and other forms of hate and discrimination are not a phenomenon of the past, but rather a problematic current event.”
The OSCE is the leading intergovernmental organization tracking hate crime and its response and providing tools to help governments and civil society address it. ADL has worked closely with ODIHR to develop resources for OSCE countries on effective ways to confront violent bigotry, including resources on anti-Semitism, anti-bias education, hate crime data collection, combating youth violence, hate on the Internet, and Holocaust education. The League collaborated with ODIHR in preparing key components of their tool-kit to help states address hate crime: Preventing and Responding to Hate Crime: A resource guide for NGOs in the OSCE Region, and ODIHR's Hate Crime Laws: A Practical Guide, which provides practical advice for lawmakers, community organizations and law enforcement for responding to bias crimes.