Hate Crime is high on the European Agenda

Hate Crime is high on the European Agenda

Two weeks ago while attending the Advisory Panel meeting of the Fundamental Rights Platform I learned that Hate Crime is included in the European Fundamental Rights Agency (FRA) 2013 work plan. Last week began with training on Hate Crime held by ODIHR[1] in Oslo for Scandinavian disabled people. Our host was IDO[2] – the Norwegian equality and discrimination body. In attendance were about 20 people who learned about definitions and concepts within the area of Hate Crime. The UK is the most progressive country and only country with disability being covered in their Hate Crime legislation. Norway has legislation that is to come into effect in 2014 that will also cover disability.

This week the FRA launched two reports on Hate Crime[3], a factsheet and a video which are all available on the FRA website.  One of the reports concerns the challenges in recording hate crime and considers how the scope of official data collection can be broadened to enable Member States to meet their obligations towards victims of hate crime. The other report is – EU-MIDIS Data in Focus 6 on Minorities as Victims of Crime presenting data on respondents’ experiences of victimization across five types of crime, from theft to serious harassment. It also includes a section looking specifically at minorities as victims of racist crime.

ENIL was asked to attend and to bring some participants from Sweden to the event. Cristina Arestin was among the Swedish participants. Cristina comes from Spain and through the San Sebastian Global Training Program is doing a six-month internship with ENIL in Härnösand, Sweden. When asked to give her comments on the Oslo training Cristina said, “ When I was invited to attend the Hate Crime Workshop in Oslo I was delighted and looking forward to it, as it was a subject for which I have not done any research as of yet.  The Hate Crime workshop has helped me to understand the meaning and the definition of the term and to distinguish what hate crime is and what it actually is not. I also learned about biases and how they can become determinants in a hate crime case. After attending the workshop I am more aware of hate crime as a subject that needs to be legislated and am keen to learn more about the subject in depth.”

Later on in the evening once back in Sweden and when reading the Text news, I myself saw a notice on how a younger lady had stabbed an elderly female wheelchair user in the back. I wondered why and if this should have had a caption on Hate Crime? During the conference, the ODIHR trainers showed areas in need of development presented country reporting and monitoring. I found this should be an area where ENIL could contribute.

 

Jamie Bolling – ENIL Executive Director



[1] http://www.osce.org/odihr/43595 – The Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) is the specialized institution of the OSCE dealing with elections, human rights, and democratization. It is based in Warsaw, Poland. Within the broader fields of human rights and democratization, ODIHR’s expertise and activities focus on the following areas: democratic elections, monitoring the implementation of OSCE human-rights commitments by participating States, combating trafficking in human beings, Roma and Sinti issues, protecting human rights in the fight against terrorism, freedom of religion, civil society, freedom of movement, rule of law, gender equality, and combating racism and related forms of intolerance.

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