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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A year in review: the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights in 2016

2016 saw Europe’s fundamental rights resolve being severely tested. Fundamental rights and freedoms were challenged in many areas, including migration and inclusion. In response, the Agency stepped up its efforts convened to provide practical support to safeguard the fundamental rights of asylum seekers, refugees and migrants.

Israel-EU dialogue on combating antisemitism

From 13 to 14 December, the Agency took part in the 10th ‘Israel-European Union Bilateral Dialogue on Combating Antisemitism, Racism and Xenophobia’. It presented its work on combating antisemitism, hate crime and education about fundamental rights, citizenship and learning from the Holocaust.

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Antisemitism - Overview of data available in the European Union 2005-2015

Antisemitism can be expressed in the form of verbal and physical attacks, threats, harassment, property damage and graffiti or other forms of text, including on the internet. The present report relates to manifestations of antisemitism as they are recorded by international organisations, and by official and unofficial sources in the 28 EU Member States.

Current migration situation in the EU: hate crime - November 2016

Asylum seekers and migrants face various forms of violence and harassment across the European Union (EU). As this month’s report on the migration situation underscores, such acts are both perpetrated and condoned by state authorities, private individuals, as well as vigilante groups. They increasingly also target activists and politicians perceived as ‘pro-refugee’.

Incitement in media content and political discourse in Member States of the European Union

Media content and political discourse in EU Member States, whether online or offline, show incitement to discrimination, hatred or violence on different grounds, as evidence collected by FRA reveals. The growing reliance on the internet as the main source of information for many enables the fast spread of often unverified statements that could also incite to hatred.