On 28 April, the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) published a practical guidance on combating hate crime. The publication, entitled "Ensuring justice for hate crime victims: professional perspectives" draws on practices from across the European Union (EU) on how to combat hate crime as well as interviews with experts from law enforcement, criminal justice, and civil society organisations.
Building on FRA’s extensive research on the rights and situation of victims of crime, the publication both focuses on victims of hate crime and presents voices from within institutions that represent the entire criminal justice system: criminal courts, public prosecutors, police officers, as well as non-governmental organisations (NGOs) supporting hate crime victims. In total, 263 interviews were carried out in all EU Member States between the second half of 2013 and early 2014.
The interviewed professionals were asked what factors prevent victims from reporting and what measures, in their view, have the potential to significantly improve victims’ access to justice. The factors identified as promising by interviewees involve four main themes:
Based on these finding, FRA also published opinions to advise EU Member States on how to combat hate crime, namely:
FRA is partner with Equinet, Council of Europe and the European Network of National Human Rights Institutions (ENNHRI) in the Collaborative Platform on Hate Crime. The aims of the Platform are to address gaps in combating hate crime, to contribute to a better understanding of the nature of hate crime and to contribute to improvement of recording and reporting of hate crime. The Platform aims to enhance coordination, cooperation and exchange of information between national level institutions and European level institutions and structures, as well as to facilitate the cooperation between national level institutions. Its work plan was agreed upon and it sets concrete actions for cooperation in the area of hate crime for 2015. The report of the first meeting held on 30 and 31 March 2015 is available here. The Platform is holding its second meeting 29 April 2016 in Amsterdam, in conjunction with the meeting of the Working party on improving reporting and recording of hate crime in the EU.