Majority of OSCE Nations Fail to Comply with Efforts to Track Hate Crime
Washington, DC Human Rights First and the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today issued a report noting that the large majority of the 56 Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) member states have failed to adequately gather and report data on hate crimes. The report, issued as high-level leaders meet in Kazakhstan to discuss member states’ commitments to combat intolerance and discrimination, outlines specific recommendations that aim to ensure compliance with those commitments and to take a more proactive approach to identify and fight hate crime. “Governments must step up their efforts to combat hate violence by improving their legislative frameworks, instituting sound data collection mechanisms, and training law enforcement officials,” said Human Rights First’s Tad Stahnke. “The recommendations outlined in this report are a roadmap to achieve those goals.” In “Hate Crime Response in the OSCE Region: Commitments Unfulfilled,” Human Rights First and ADL acknowlege that the OSCE has been at the forefront of combating hate crime and advocating for improved reporting, know-how, tools and trainings to help members states take from words to action their commitment to combat bias-motivated violence. Despite that goal, however, the OSCE member states have struggled to adequately fulfill these promises and the region’s hate crime problem is worsening. Though the extent of the rise in bias-motivated violence among the OSCE’s 56 member states remains hard to measure, the 2009 Hate Crimes in the OSCE Region Report by the Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) sheds light on the lackluster response of many OSCE governments. Eight governments did not respond at all to the ODIHR’s request for information. Five of those that did respond said that they do not collect any data on hate crime. Nine countries reported fewer than ten hate crimes nationally, even though in some cases nongovernmental sources have reported far more. Even countries that have made efforts to establish more robust monitoring systems generally do not disaggregate the data.