Watchdog Groups: OSCE Countries Can Do Better On Hate Crime Data

New York, NY, November 30, 2016 … As xenophobic and hate-filled rhetoric dominates political discourse in Europe and the United States, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) and Human Rights First (HRF) today released a report analyzing hate crime data in the Organization for Society and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) region. 

The report documents the failure of OSCE participating States to uphold their commitments to record and prevent hate crimes.

“In the current environment, with the refugee crisis, the rise of far-right parties and movements espousing hatred, and a rise in bias-motivated incidents throughout the region, there is an urgent need for prevention, data collection, and reporting to receive higher priority,” the report notes. 

The Hate Crimes Scorecard analyzes data submitted by countries to the OSCE’s Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) for its annual hate crimes report. This annual report is an important tool for understanding the nature and frequency of hate crimes across the region and whether countries are adequately addressing them, and to craft responsive policies.

However, the report only provides a partial picture, as many countries either do not collect such data or fail to transmit their findings to the ODIHR on a timely basis. In addition, a country fulfilling their data collection commitments may not be doing all they can to prevent hate crimes. 

Out of the 57 participating OSCE States, only 41 submitted official information to ODIHR for 2015 and only 34 submitted official state data on hate crimes. Only 21 of these countries reported data disaggregated by bias type or type of crime.

ADL and Human Rights First note that detailed disaggregation of data is crucial to assess the problem and develop sensible policy responses. While more participating States submitted information and disaggregated data than in 2014, a significant number of OSCE countries still do not provide sufficient information and data to the OSCE.

ADL works with Jewish organizations across Europe on issues of hate crimes, anti-Semitism, terrorism and extremism.