On 28 April, FRA attended the OSCE/ODIHR expert conference on ‘Enhancing Community-Law Enforcement Relations in Combating Hate Crimes against Muslims’ in Vienna.
During the conference, the negative impact of hate crime and how it can contribute to the fragmentation of society were emphasised. Under-reporting of hate crime and the lack of data collection were identified as key problems. Governments were called on to start collecting relevant statistics. Increasing levels of trust between minorities and law enforcement authorities, and for ensuring the effectiveness of protective mechanisms were also identified as being needed. In addition, authorities were called on to work closely with communities so they could increase their knowledge of their rights and which institutions can help them.
The importance of hate crime prevention was also highlighted by, for example, ensuring the existence of a solid legal framework to fight hate crime, the training of law enforcement authorities to properly address such crime, and the inclusion of knowledge on hate crimes and mechanisms to deal with them in school curricula.