Ilya Lensky, Director of the Jews in Latvia Museum, speaks at a workshop on collecting data on anti-Semitic hate crimes as Melissa Sonnino, Community Affairs Coordinator at CEJI - A Jewish Contribution to an Inclusive Europe, listens. Warsaw, 18 December 2012. (OSCE/Shiv Sharma)
Anti-Semitism, which includes verbal harassment, hate speech and violent attacks targeting Jews and Jewish institutions, neo-Nazi activities and Holocaust denial, was first condemned by OSCE participating States in 1990.
Since 2004, participating States have made a number of commitments to combat anti-Semitism through various measures, including legislation, effective law enforcement, education and strengthening civil society. In addition, participating States have committed themselves to promote Holocaust education and remembrance.
ODIHR has been tasked to collect information about and report on anti-Semitic incidents and hate crimes across the OSCE region. The Office compiles this data in its annual Hate Crime Report and also works with non-governmental organizations and community groups to help them better record and report anti-Semitic incidents.
Furthermore, by facilitating the exchange of good practices for preventing and responding to anti-Semitism among governments, civil society and Jewish community organizations from the OSCE region, ODIHR works to raise awareness on current challenges and effective responses to anti-Semitism.
Together with its partners, ODIHR is also developing teaching tools and overviews of good practice for educators and public officials to support their efforts to address contemporary anti-Semitism and promote Holocaust remembrance:
Teaching Materials to Combat Anti-Semitism – ODIHR has developed teaching materials to combat anti-Semitism and other forms of intolerance, in co-operation with the Anne Frank House and national experts in 14 OSCE participating States. A three-part template, focusing on historical anti-Semitism, contemporary anti-Semitism and prejudices in general, has been produced and adapted for different countries. More than 100,000 copies on each theme have been printed and distributed top date.
Addressing Anti-Semitism: Why and How? A Guide for Educators was developed with Yad Vashem as another classroom tool. Translated into nine languages, the guide provides educators with suggestions on how to address anti-Semitism in the classroom. It also contains a working definition of anti-Semitism.
In co-operation with Yad Vashem, ODIHR has developed practical guidelines - "Preparing Holocaust Memorial Days: Suggestions for Educators" - that highlight good practices. The guidelines were developed for educators teaching high school students in the OSCE participating States and are currently available in 13 languages.
In co-operation with the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance, ODIHR has produced an overview of Holocaust Memorial Days in the OSCE region, presenting official commemorative activities from different participating States.