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

FRA Director speaks to EU Justice and Home Affairs ministers
08/06/2017

FRA Director speaks to EU Justice and Home Affairs ministers

With the internet awash with online hatred, there is an urgent need to take a comprehensive, rights-based approach to stem the tide, urged FRA’s Director during discussions with EU Justice ministers. The working lunch debate focused on the code of conduct on countering illegal hate speech online signed one year ago by the European Commission and IT companies.

Latest projects View all

Status: 
Ongoing

Subgroup on methodologies for recording and collecting data on hate crime

In 2016 the European Commission asked the FRA to join its High Level Group to combat racism, xenophobia and other forms of intolerance, and to coordinate a specific subgroup of the HLG that will work to develop methodologies for recording and collecting data on hate crime.

Latest publications View all

Fundamental Rights Report 2017
May
2017

Fundamental Rights Report 2017

Annual report
Diverse efforts at both EU and national levels sought to bolster fundamental rights protection in 2016, while some measures threatened to undermine such protection.
Fundamental Rights Report 2017 - FRA opinions
May
2017

Fundamental Rights Report 2017 - FRA opinions

Annual report
Diverse efforts at both EU and national levels sought to bolster fundamental rights protection in 2016, while some measures threatened to undermine such protection.
Antisemitism - Overview of data available in the European Union 2005-2015
December
2016

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

Paper
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.