September 24, 2008
New Report Finds Violent Hate Crime on the Rise
NEW YORK–Incidents of violent hate crime targeting a number of minority groups are increasing or occurring at historically high levels in many of the Organization of Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) member-states, as governments fail to combat such crimes, a new report finds. The 2008 Hate Crime Survey, released today by Human Rights First, examines the rate of violent hate crimes by motivation – racism and xenophobia, antisemitism, homophobia, anti-Muslim bias, anti-Roma bias and bias against other religious minorities – across the 56 North American and European states that make up the OSCE. Among the survey’s findings:
- Racially motivated violence in Russia rose 17.4 percent from 2006 to 2007, while racially motivated murders increased 36.5 percent.
- The number of violent assaults related to antisemitism in the United Kingdom rose dramatically last year, making 2007 the worst year on record since monitoring began in 1984.
- Incidents of violence against LGBT people in the United States went up 24 percent from 2006-2007.
- Despite ample evidence of acts of violence targeting Muslims and those perceived to be Muslims across Europe and North America, only five of the 56 OSCE governments publicly report on such incidents.
- condemning attacks when they occur and establishing a zero tolerance policy for violent hate crimes
- instructing and adequately training police and prosecutors to investigate and prosecute hate crimes, working in partnership with victims, their communities and civil society groups
- improving monitoring, data collection, and public reporting to ensure accountability of law enforcement and sound public policy
- strengthening criminal laws to cover all forms of bias-motivated violence.