Human Rights First’s advocacy work in Europe is focused on intergovernmental institutions—OSCE, the Council of Europe, and the European Union. It is crucial for the international community to take a firm stand against any hate crime against anyone, anywhere.
The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe is a leading intergovernmental body working on hate crimes. We call for strong OSCE initiatives that encourage the 56 participating States to take action to combat bias-motivated violence. Human Rights First’s Ten-Point Plan shaped the landmark Decision No. 9/09 on “Combating Hate Crime,” the first OCSE ministerial decision which specifically addresses hate crimes and lays out steps to combat bias violence. While the OSCE member states have adopted meaningful political commitments to combat hate crime, our reporting reveals that most States still have a long way to go in turning those words into action.
The Council of Europe (CoE) pays a particular focus on legal standards, human rights, and the rule of law. It has 47 member states, thus offering a wide geographical platform. Among instruments with which HRF engages are the Commissioner for Human Rights; the European Commission Against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI), a body that performs a periodic review of member States and provides recommendations, including in the area of hate crime; and the Parliamentary Assembly (PACE), composed of national parliamentary delegations that reflect the political spectrum of their national parliaments.