New York, NY, November 19, 2012 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) welcomed the release of the annual hate crime report of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). The report, issued by the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights, documents how the 56 member countries of the OSCE are responding to hate violence. ADL partnered with Human Rights First (HRF) to analyze the data in the report and to rate how countries are measuring up on fulfilling their obligations to address hate crime.
"Since 2003, OSCE member states have made an impressive array of commitments to fight racism, anti-Semitism and other forms of bigotry. Yet, as this important report reveals, more than half of these states are failing to fulfill these commitments to improve efforts to collect data and adopt effective hate crime legislation," said Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director. "This lack of progress is disturbing. Data collection is especially important – as the jumping-off point for a range of political, policy, education, prevention, and response measures. Understanding the nature and magnitude of the problem is the essential starting point."
Although the report documents improvements in data collection by some governments, only 21 of 56 participating states now gather data on anti-Semitic incidents. The ADL/HRF analysisof the data (PDF) found that 20 of the 56 governments failed to gather hate crime data or make it publicly available – and five countries reported fewer than 20 hate crimes nationwide.
The ADL/HRF analysis provides a series of recommendations for governments to address hate crimes and urges them to utilize the training tools and resources that currently exist in the OSCE's hate crime toolkit.
"The failure of governments to consistently share their data with the ODIHR makes it impossible to track progress year by year or use the data in other helpful ways," said Mr. Foxman. "We will be working to encourage U.S. State Department and Justice Department officials to elevate the issue in bilateral and multilateral arenas with OSCE participating states."
The new OSCE report, Hate Crimes in the OSCE Region: Incidents and Responses, was released last week in Vienna at an annual meeting of national focal points on hate crime, where ADL shared its analysis and recommendations with the governments. The OSCE is the leading intergovernmental organization tracking and addressing hate crime response.
ADL has worked closely with ODIHR professionals to develop resources and action items for OSCE member nations 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: A resource guide for community organizations on Preventing and Responding to Hate Crime (PDF), and ODIHR's Hate Crime Laws: A Practical Guide (PDF), which provides practical advice for lawmakers, community organizations and law enforcement for responding to bias crimes.