The collection and reporting of hate crime data were the focus of a discussion organized by the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) at the Human Dimension Implementation Meeting in Warsaw on 3 October 2012.
Participants from governments, the international community and civil society were presented with highlights from ODIHR’s annual hate crime report for 2011, which is due to be published in November. The report includes data on hate crime compiled by participating States, as well as civil society and intergovernmental and international organizations.
“This report shows that hate crime continues to be a significant problem across the OSCE region,” said Floriane Hohenberg, the Head of ODIHR’s Tolerance and Non-Discrimination Department. “However, we were also able to report on several examples of good practice with regard to recording and responding to the problem. We hope that this report further increases awareness of the problem and serves as a resource for participating States that are looking for more effective responses to the problem.”
During the meeting, Mike Smith of the UK’s Equality and Human Rights Commission, which recently conducted the first-ever national inquiry into hate crimes against disabled people, noted the need for greater recognition of disability hate crimes. “Very few people were aware of disability hate crime before we started our inquiry,” he said.
“The issue is now firmly on the agenda, and criminal justice agencies have made real commitments to improve their response to victims of this violence. We have a long way to go, though, before the full scale and impact of disability hate crime is really understood.”