The OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) is currently collecting data on hate crimes that took place during the past year. The deadline for submission is 30th April 2018 and the results will be published on 16th November.
The submissions must fulfil the requirements pointed by the ODIHR. Each incident should consist of a criminal offence motivated by bias. Therefore, incidents of discrimination and hate speech will be excluded from the final report. For more information regarding submissions, please check the ODIHR’s official website: http://hatecrime.osce.org/civilsociety
The ODIHR encourages civil society to submit their reports and data. Moreover, the European Foundation of Human Rights (EFHR) is aware of the importance of data provided by civil society. For this reason, the EFHR has been collaborating closely with ODIHR and submitting information every year to them since 2012 and it is planning to cooperate with submissions this year as well. It is considered by the ODIHR as one of the civil society contributors from Lithuania as it contributes regularly with hate crime reports. Last year, most of the hate crimes based on grounds of racism and xenophobia in Lithuania were reported by the EFHR.
The reports submitted by civil society will contribute to enrich the ODIHR’s results. The information provided by non-governmental organisations is very important in order to complement official data submitted by States. Civil society reports are crucial for creating a “full picture” from the hate crimes situation as information submitted by official institutions sometimes lacks relevant facts.
The EFHR is pleased to inform that it has already submitted its report on hate crimes for the year 2017. Big efforts were made by the EFHR team in order to make hate crimes being recorded by the police, especially when they are incited by racist and xenophobic bias (16 out of 20 hate crimes registered in Lithuania were based on this ground in the year 2016). However, the EFHR regrets that despite the efforts made for reporting these crimes, only a few of them were prosecuted or sentenced (6 of them were prosecuted and 7 of them sentenced). The ODIHR statistics show that only a low rate of hate crimes was effectively sentenced and punished. For this reason, the EFHR would like to draw the attention of public institution to this problem in order to provide an effective solution.