On 23-24 November, FRA held its third meeting of the Working Party on combating hate crime together with the Luxembourg Presidency of the Council of the EU. The event took place in the shadow of the attacks in Paris earlier this month and their aftermath, making the objectives of the Working Party particularly relevant.
“Racism and xenophobia have made their way to the forefront of political debates in the EU. These heated debates are now accompanied by a backlash against Muslims and Muslim communities across the EU, as a reaction to the events in Paris,” said FRA Communication and Outreach Department head Friso Roscam Abbing in opening the meeting. “Hate crime, as the most extreme form of discrimination, must be combated if we want to ensure our societies are based on respect for fundamental rights and are, quite simply, safe.”
On the first day of the meeting, participants exchanged information about incidents of hate crime and hate speech against refugees, asylum seekers and migrants. They also had the opportunity of hearing about the experiences of civil society organisations in encouraging reporting and improving recording of hate crime, as well as in enhancing cooperation and providing training.
A compendium of practices on improving recording and encouraging reporting of hate crime was the main focus of the second day, with a particular emphasis on success factors and the conditions necessary for effective implementation. The compendium will be targeted at both policy makers and frontline practitioners at the national, regional and local levels.
FRA established the Working Party on Improving Reporting and Recording of Hate Crime in the EU in 2014. It brings together all 28 EU Member States, as well as representatives of the European Commission, the Council of Europe’s Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI), the OSCE’s Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) and FRA. EU Member State representatives include staff from ministries, prosecutors’ offices, law enforcement agencies, police training institutions and national parliaments.