[FRA Press Release, Thessaloniki/Vienna, 28 April 2014] Hate crime does not just harm individual victims, but entire communities, affecting our societies in all their diversity. Research by the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) has consistently found that members of ethnic and religious groups, national minorities, migrants, LGBT people or those with disabilities are faced with prejudice on an everyday basis. The overwhelming majority of victims are, however, reluctant to report their experiences to the authorities or even to civil society organisations. Shortfalls in national data collection methods also mean that many such crimes remain unrecorded, leaving them unresolved and invisible.
To discuss these issues and find ways of improving the situation, FRA is organising a seminar together with the Hellenic Presidency of the Council of the EU, in cooperation with the Centre of International and European Economic Law (CIEEL). Representatives of almost all EU Member States will participate, as well as experts from international organisations including the OSCE’s Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights and the Council of Europe. The focus of the seminar will be on encouraging reporting and improving recording of hate crime.
“One of the most shocking findings of our work on hate crime is the fear it instils in whole communities,” said FRA Director Morten Kjaerum. “Much still needs doing to build trust among victims that reporting their experiences will lead to recognition of their suffering and the prosecution of perpetrators. At the same time, EU Member States must work to improve their data collection methods to ensure that these crimes finally become visible.”
Since its establishment in 2007, FRA has built up a large body of work on hate crime. This includes data on the experiences of groups such as lesbian, gays, bisexual and transgender people, Roma and other ethnic minorities. The seminar, entitled How can EU Member States combat hate crime effectively? Encouraging reporting & improving recording, takes place on 28-29 April in Thessaloniki.
For more details on FRA’s hate crime work, please visit the Agency’s website or see the links below:
- • Making hate crime visible in the EU: Acknowledging victims’ rights (2012)
- • EU-MIDIS Data in Focus 6: Minorities as victims of crime (2012)
- • FRA survey on discrimination and victimisation of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people in EU Member States (2013)
- • FRA survey on discrimination and hate crimes against Jews (2013)
- • FRA’s Opinion on the Framework Decision on Racism and Xenophobia with special attention to the rights of victims of crime (2013)
- • Hate crime was also the topic of FRA’s annual Fundamental Rights Conference, which took place in Vilnius on 12-13 November 2013
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