Watchdog: Europe failing on hate crimes


A human rights watchdog group said most European countries are not enforcing hate crimes laws.

Just 15 of the 56 countries comprising the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe are meeting their commitment, made through the umbrella group, to combat hate crimes, Human Rights First said this week in its first “Hate Crimes Report Card.”

This is despite the fact that more than 30 nations have passed hate crimes legislation in addition to making the OSCE commitment, Human Rights First reported.

In a press release, Human Rights First singled out Ukraine, noting the torching of a Jewish school in Kiev in October and the murder of a Nigerian man in 2006.

“Yet the Ukrainian government still does not publicly monitor or record the number of hate crimes committed in the Ukraine each year,” the release said. “Ukraine is among nearly 40 countries where governments provide only limited or no public reporting on violent hate crimes.”

Human Rights First launched its hate crimes enforcement monitor earlier this year, filling what it said was a gap. Other watchdogs focus principally on government violations of human rights.

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