Human Rights First and ADL Release Scorecard on Hate Crime Reporting in 57 OSCE Nations
New York City—Against a backdrop of rising reports of hate crimes, Human Rights First and the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today released their annual analysis of hate crime reporting by the 57 participating states of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), a security- and human rights-focused intergovernmental organization comprised of governments from North America, Europe, and Central Asia.
Scorecard on Hate Crime Response in the OSCE Region analyzes hate crime data from 2016 (using the most recent information available) submitted by OSCE participating states to the body’s Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR). It reveals that many OSCE governments remain unwilling or unable to meet even basic standards concerning the reporting of hate crimes. Only 36 of 57 participating states submitted hate crime data to ODIHR and of those who submitted data, only 16 submitted data disaggregated by bias motivation.
ODIHR’s annual publication of hate crime data is an essential tool for better understanding hate crime-related trends and crafting effective policy responses in the OSCE region. Yet many OSCE participating states routinely do not collect or report data, or report figures that are not disaggregated by bias motivation or that reflect an implausibly low level of hate crimes.
“It is shameful that year after year we see countries failing to take the necessary steps to address hate crimes,” said Susan Corke, Director of Countering Antisemitism and Extremism at Human Rights First. “This contributes to a multi-layered dilemma. Without knowing the nature and magnitude of the problem, better laws and policies can’t be drafted and implemented, law enforcement likely won’t have access to the right tools, and victims won’t gain proper access to a system that protects them under the law.”
“Every member state in the OSCE can do a better job at monitoring, reporting, and combating hate crimes, including the United States,” said Sharon Nazarian, ADL SVP of International Affairs. “Some governments failed to report which communities were victimized by hate crimes, and others did not report hate crimes at all. Without accurate reporting, it is hard for governments and nongovernmental organizations to assess the extent of the problem or to take proactive steps to address manifestations of hatred directly.”
ODIHR released its most recent report, covering 2016, in November. Human Rights First and ADL have analyzed ODIHR’s findings and rated countries’ effectiveness in keeping their commitments to track and report hate crimes each year since 2010.
The two NGOs’ most recent analysis finds that many OSCE participating states continued to struggle to identify and report bias-motivated crimes. Many participating states failed to meet even the most basic of reporting requirements. Among states that submitted data, information was often incomplete or undermined by significant underreporting. For example, Norway, Azerbaijan, and Belgium were three of the 21 participating states that submitted no data to ODIHR. In addition, Russia, Hungary, and Switzerland were among the ten participating states that submitted data that was not disaggregated by bias motivation.