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Report: Hate crimes data in Europe inadequate

by Hillel Kuttler, JTA

November 18, 2011 | 10:28 am

The European body monitoring hate crimes said that governments fail to provide adequate data.

A report on hate crimes in 2010 released this month by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe found that some states do not collect any data all on such crimes, a finding that was backed by the Anti-Defamation League and Human Rights First.

“Significant gaps in data collection remain a major obstacle to understanding the prevalence and nature of hate crimes within most participating states and across the OSCE as a region,” said the report by the organization’s Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights. “A number of participating states do not collect any statistics at all on hate crimes. Some participating states collect data, but do not make the data public.”

Creating a uniform standard for hate crimes reporting and getting nations in the 56-member OSCE to comply has for years dogged hate crimes reporting, despite periodic pledges by member nations to increase reporting.

“Seven years ago in Berlin, the OSCE countries pledged with great urgency to gather data on anti-Semitic crimes,” Abraham Foxman, the ADL’s national director, said in a statement. ”Yet only four of those governments have provided information on incidents for the OSCE’s report. Without this basic monitoring, how can any government demonstrate that they are serious about addressing it?”

The ADL and Human Rights First issued a joint analysis this week of the OSCE’s report, breaking down how member nations fail to report hate crimes.

Only 31 out of 56 countries “submitted questionnaires for the year 2010, one less than last year and significantly less than the 47 questionnaires that were submitted two years ago,” said the analysis.

Moreover, the analysis showed that among participating states reporting was inadequate.

“Two countries reported that they do not collect any data on hate crimes, and six states reported fewer than twenty incidents nationally,” it said. “Even countries that have made efforts to establish more robust monitoring systems generally do not disaggregate the data” to show which groups are targeted by hate crimes and which crimes are violent and which involve other violations, including incitement and discrimination.

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