Many OSCE Nations Broke Their Promise To Fight Hate Crime

New York, NY, June 30, 2010 … A new report by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) and Human Rights First has found that of 56 participating governments in the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, 23 nations have failed to adequately gather and report data on hate crimes and anti-Semitic incidents.

The report (PDF), released today in Astana, Kazakhstan at a high-level meeting on tolerance held on the 20th anniversary of the landmark 1990 Copenhagen Document, focused on key benchmarks for compliance by governments, such as collecting and publicizing hate crime data and ensuring that their data is disaggregated to properly identify the targeted groups.

"What is clear from this analysis is that many OSCE governments are still resistant when it comes to responding to hate crimes and gathering data and making it public," said Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director. "As key stakeholders in this process, we are renewing our challenge to all of the participating OSCE governments to move past their resistance to reporting and cataloging hate crimes. The disclosure of hate crime data offers a jumping-off point for a more effective response, for when there is data, there is awareness, and where there is awareness, there is action."

While the ADL and Human Rights First report recognized that "the OSCE today is a leader among intergovernmental organizations in recognizing and addressing the problem of hate crimes," it concluded that "those achievements were overshadowed by the fact that … the problem of anti-Semitism and hate crime is growing, and many states are failing to adequately respond."

The report found 23 of the 56 participating governments failed to gather hate crime data or make it publicly available. It counted nine countries that reported fewer than 10 – and in some cases, zero – hate crimes.

In addition, according to the ADL analysis, only eight of the 56 governments submitted information on incidents of anti-Semitism to the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) in Warsaw,Poland.

As a participant in the OSCE High Level Conference on Tolerance in Astana, ADL presented a series of recommendations on how the participating nations could improve their response to hate crimes, including:

  • Acknowledge and condemn hate crimes whenever they occur;
  • monitor and address hate crime;
  • enact laws to address and therefore recognize the particular harm they cause;
  • provide training and policy guidance to law enforcement;
  • forge links with community groups to build trust and promote dialogue.

The League also presented information at a side-event during the conference on the real-world impact of hate crime.

Over the last five years, ADL has taken a leadership role in presenting resources and recommendations to the OSCE on confronting anti-Semitism, anti-bias education, hate crime data collection, combating youth violence, hate on the Internet and Holocaust education. ADL representatives participated in the drafting committee for ODIHR's publication, Hate Crime Laws: A Practical Guide, which provides practical advice for lawmakers, community organizations and law enforcement for responding to bias crimes.

ADL is the world’s leading anti-hate organization. Founded in 1913 in response to an escalating climate of anti-Semitism and bigotry, its timeless mission is to protect the Jewish people and to secure justice and fair treatment for all. Today, ADL continues to fight all forms of hate with the same vigor and passion. A global leader in exposing extremism, delivering anti-bias education, and fighting hate online, ADL is the first call when acts of anti-Semitism occur. ADL’s ultimate goal is a world in which no group or individual suffers from bias, discrimination or hate.