Ensuring justice for hate crime victims: professional perspectives - Summary

Hate crime is the most severe expression of discrimination and a core fundamental rights abuse. The European Union (EU) has demonstrated its resolve to tackle hate crime with legislation such as the 2008 Framework Decision on combating certain forms and expressions of racism and xenophobia by means of criminal law. Nonetheless, the majority of hate crimes perpetrated in the EU remain unreported and therefore invisible, leaving victims without redress.

It is essential to prevent such crimes, but it is equally important to ensure that victims have access to justice. This means enabling them to report their experiences to competent institutions, and then providing them with the support they need. At the same time, hate crime must be promptly and effectively investigated, and the perpetrators punished.

This summary presents the main findings from the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) report on Ensuring justice for hate crime victims: professional perspectives. The report outlines important insights from a variety of experts, including representatives of criminal courts, public prosecutors’ offices, the police and non-governmental organisations involved in supporting hate crime victims. In so doing, it sheds light on the complexities that victims face in reporting as well as the organisational and procedural factors that impede their access to justice and the proper recording and prosecution of hate crime.