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.

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2015 work plans of the thematic cooperation platforms now available

In a drive to work more closely together on pressing fundamental rights challenges, the Council of Europe, the European Network of Equality Bodies, the European Network of National Human Rights Institutions and FRA have established four thematic cooperation platforms in 2014.

FRA mourns deaths in Copenhagen, an attack on the rights to life, dignity and freedom of expression

The two murders that took place in Copenhagen on 14-15 February, one at an event on freedom of speech and the second at the city’s central synagogue, violate not only the right to life but also a number of other fundamental rights, including the right to human dignity (Article 1 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the EU), freedom of thought, conscience and religion (Article 10), and freedom of expression and information (Article 11).

Two FRA papers examine the responses to January’s attacks in Paris

The attack on the Charlie Hebdo offices on 7 January 2015 that left 12 people dead framed the initial debate on the necessity of protecting the right to freedom of expression. However, the subsequent murder of four Jewish people in a kosher supermarket and the deadly shooting of a police officer in Paris, as well as the suspected attack on police in Belgium added other dimensions to political, media and civilian responses across the EU.

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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.
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 ...

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

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.