Hate crime

Violence and offences motivated by racism, xenophobia, religious intolerance, or by bias against a person’s disability, sexual orientation or gender identity are all examples of hate crime.

These crimes can affect anyone in society. But whoever the victim is, such offences harm not only the individual targeted but also strike at the heart of EU commitments to democracy and the fundamental rights of equality and non-discrimination. 

To combat hate crime, the EU and its Member States need to make these crimes more visible and hold perpetrators to account. Numerous rulings by the European Court of Human Rights oblige countries to ‘unmask’ the bias motivation behind criminal offences.

Efforts to form targeted policies for combating hate crime are hampered by under-recording, ie the fact that few EU Member States collect comprehensive data on such offences. In addition, a lack of trust in the law enforcement and criminal justice systems means that the majority of hate crime victims do not report their experiences, leading to under-reporting. FRA’s work documents both of these gaps in data collection, as well as the extent of prejudice against groups such as Roma, LGBT, Muslims, and migrant communities. At the same time, it makes recommendations on how the situation could be improved.

Article 1 of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights guarantees the right to human dignity, while Article 10 stipulates the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion. Article 21 prohibits discrimination based on any ground, including sex, ethnic origin, religion, sexual orientation or disability.

Latest news View all

20/07/2015

Online course explores hate crime indicators

The European Police College (CEPOL) held on online course on ‘Hate Crime Indicators: How to recognise Bias Motives in Practice’ on 6 July. FRA gave a presentation on hate crime reporting models.
30/06/2015

FRA speaks in European parliamentary debate on antisemitism, Islamophobia and hate speech

There must be zero tolerance for hate speech, which is increasingly present on the internet and in political discourse, FRA Communication and Outreach Department Head Friso Roscam Abbing said at a hearing of the European Parliamentary Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE) to discuss antisemitism, Islamophobia and hate speech on 29 June.

Latest projects View all

Status: 
Ongoing

Children with disabilities: targeted violence and hostility

This project will look at hostility, including violence, towards children with disabilities across the EU. It seeks to identify the legal and policy framework, as well as determine how information about such hostility is being collected. In addition, the project will look for examples of promising practices of how some Member States are addressing the problem.
Status: 
Findings available

Surveying LGBT people and authorities

This project encompasses two related surveys: A survey on discrimination against and victimisation of LGBT people. This survey aims to generate comparable data about the actual experiences of LGBT people living in the EU today This will be complemented by the views of public official and professionals in 19 Member States.

Latest publications View all

June
2015

Fundamental rights: challenges and achievements in 2014 - Annual report

Annual report
European Union (EU) Member States and institutions introduced a number of legal and policy measures in 2014 to safeguard fundamental rights in the EU. Notwithstanding these efforts, a great deal remains to be done, and it can be seen that the situation in some areas is alarming: the number of migrants rescued or apprehended at sea as they were trying to reach Europe’s borders quadrupled over 2013; more than a quarter of children in the EU are at risk of poverty or social exclusion; and an increasing number of political parties use xenophobic and anti-immigrant rhetoric in their campaigns, potentially increasing some people’s vulnerability to becoming victims of crime or hate crime.
December
2014

Being Trans in the EU - Comparative analysis of the EU LGBT survey data

Report
Trans persons, or those whose gender identity and/or gender expression differs from the sex assigned them at birth, face frequent discrimination, harassment and violence across the European Union (EU) today. This reality triggers fears that persuade many to hide or disguise their true selves. This report examines issues of equal treatment and discrimination on two grounds, namely sexual orientation and gender identity. It analyses data on the experiences of 6,579 trans respondents from the EU Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) survey, the largest body of empirical evidence of its kind to date.