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

27/01/2016

Antisemitism continues unabated across the EU

On International Holocaust Remembrance day, FRA honours the memory of the victims and renews its calls for the EU and its Member States to increase their efforts to combat antisemitism, a phenomenon that shows no sign of waning.
26/01/2016

FRA Director engages with the European Parliament

The FRA Director, Michael O’Flaherty, addressed Members of the European Parliament in Brussels from 25-26 January for the first time in his capacity as the Agency’s head. It was a valuable opportunity to engage directly with MEPs to hear about their fundamental rights concerns and for them to keep abreast about FRA’s recent and ongoing work.

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Latest publications View all

September
2015

Antisemitism - Overview of data available in the European Union 2004-2014

Paper
Antisemitism can be expressed in the form of verbal and physical attacks, threats, harassment, property damage, graffiti or other forms of text, including on the internet. This report relates to manifestations of antisemitism as they are recorded by official and unofficial sources in the 28 European Union (EU) Member States.
September
2015

Promoting respect and diversity - Combating intolerance and hate

Paper
Regardless of ethnic origin, religion or belief, everyone living in the Union has a fundamental right to be treated equally, to be respected and to be protected from violence. This contribution paper to the Annual Colloquium on Fundamental Rights provides evidence of the fact that such respect is lacking, and suggests ways in which governments can ensure they fulfil their duty to safeguard this right for everyone living in the EU.
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.