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

Better records to help support hate crime victims
21/06/2018

Better records to help support hate crime victims

Better recording of hate crime across the EU will help Member States continue to fight this persistent problem. The European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights’ latest report provides compelling evidence of what Member States are already doing with tips on how they can improve.
15/06/2018

Freedom of religion, antisemitism and Islamophobia discussed at Council

The FRA Director joined other high-level panellists in discussing freedom of religion, antisemitism and Islamophobia during a joint meeting of the Council’s Working Parties on Human Rights (COHOM) and on Fundamental Rights, Citizens Rights and Free Movement of Persons (FREMP).

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Status: 
Findings available

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 (HLG) 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

Hate crime recording and data collection practice across the EU
June
2018

Hate crime recording and data collection practice across the EU

Report
Across the European Union, people face hatred because of their skin colour, ethnicity, religion, gender or sexuality. In response, the EU and its Member States have introduced laws against hate crime and support services for victims. But these will only fulfil their potential if victims report hate-motivated harassment and violence to the police, and if police officers record such incidents as hate crimes. This report provides rich and detailed information on hate crime recording and data collection systems across the EU, including any systemic cooperation with civil society.
Fundamental Rights Report 2018
June
2018

Fundamental Rights Report 2018

Annual report
The year 2017 brought both progress and setbacks in terms of rights protection. The European Pillar of Social Rights marked an important move towards a more ‘social Europe’. But, as experiences with the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights underscore, agreement on a text is merely a first step. Even in its eighth year as the EU's binding bill of rights, the Charter's potential was not fully exploited, highlighting the need to more actively promote its use.
Fundamental Rights Report 2018 - FRA opinions
June
2018

Fundamental Rights Report 2018 - FRA opinions

Annual report
The year 2017 brought both progress and setbacks in terms of fundamental rights protection. FRA’s Fundamental Rights Report 2018 reviews major developments in the EU between January and December 2017, and outlines FRA’s opinions thereon.