Too often, we see little to no action by member states’ authorities to thoroughly acknowledge, investigate and prosecute the hate motive behind these attacks. Friday’s conclusions failed to put forward concrete EU measures to help combat hate crime in member states, and protect the victims
Is the EU turning its back on victims of hate crime
(Brussels, 11 December 2013) The European Union (EU) could strengthen national responses to effectively combat hate crime by reviewing its current legislation, standards, and policies. However, it seems that the political will to do so is in short supply, Amnesty International has said.
Last Friday, the EU’s Justice and Home Affairs (JHA) Council adopted conclusions on hate crime that failed to firmly commit to ending flawed and inadequate national laws and practices on hate crime within its borders.
‘‘Recent incidents of hate crime across member states, such as the wave of racist attacks against migrants in Bulgaria, and violence experienced on a daily basis by Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender and Intersex (LGBTI) people, clearly show the urgent need for EU action to protect victims,” said Nicolas Beger, Director of Amnesty International’s European Institutions Office.
In order to fully tackle the causes, stamp out this most violent manifestation of discrimination, and bring justice to hate crime victims, the discriminatory motive and nature of hate crimes must be recognised and responded to by specific national legislation. The EU has a key role in ensuring national legislation is effective and fully implemented.
‘‘Too often, we see little to no action by member states’ authorities to thoroughly acknowledge, investigate and prosecute the hate motive behind these attacks. Friday’s conclusions failed to put forward concrete EU measures to help combat hate crime in member states, and protect the victims’’, added Beger.
Amnesty International is concerned by the effectiveness of the existing EU Framework Decision to Combat Racism and Xenophobia (2008/913/JHA), to date the EU’s only instrument on hate crime. It does not cover hate crimes beyond those on the grounds of race and ethnicity, focuses on criminalising hate speech over addressing violent acts, and provides no guidance on investigation and prosecution of such acts.
“The Council and the European Commission must act immediately to upgrade EU standards to define and integrate hate crime within its broader anti-discrimination polices, and support robust national responses to hate crime. Empty calls on member states provide no added value.”
As Greece prepares to take over the EU presidency in January 2014, it must ensure that the EU takes the lead in ensuring that member states effectively unmask all hate motives, prosecute the perpetrators, and protect the victims of hate crimes.
Hate crimes are violent acts of intolerance toward people’s perceived or actual social or identity characteristics, such as race or sexual orientation, that are protected and deemed discriminatory under international and European human rights law
Letter to Juazos Bernatonis, Minister of Justice, Republic of Lithuania
Letter to members of FREMP
Amnesty International’s submission to the European Commission and the Council of the European Union on the framework decision on racism and xenophobia
Amnesty International's petition calling on the Bulgarian Minister of Justice to take immediate action to secure protection of LGBTI individuals against hate-motivated violence and discrimination.
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