SOVA Center's statement for the session on addressing all forms of intolerance and discrimination and building equal and inclusive societies at the ODIHR 30th anniversary conference
We welcome the efforts of the governments of the OSCE member states, including Russia, to combat and counter hate crimes. And we believe that the experience of comprehensive counteraction to groups engaging in racist and other ideologically motivated violence should be consolidated, generalized, and shared at the level of the OSCE.
1. To consolidate and summarize the experience of comprehensive counteraction to groups engaging in racist violence, from the investigation of individual crimes to the identification and dismantling of the infrastructure of these groups (identifying their sources of financing, leaders and coordinators of acts of violence, etc.). If necessary, we suggest holding an international expert seminar on this topic.
2. To organize a series of seminars for law enforcement officers from different countries in order to share successful experiences in collecting information on and statistical recording of hate crimes.
3. To conduct a comparative analysis of a wider range of national legislation in the field of combating intolerance, particularly legislation that deals with incitement to hatred, discrimination, and the activities of the groups concerned.
4. To supplement the comparative analysis of legislation with the comparative analysis of law enforcement in the OSCE member states, primarily related to countering hate crimes and incitement to hatred.
To the OSCE Member States:
1. To adjust crime recording systems so that suspected hate motive could be recorded at any stage, including at the earliest stage of the crime-recording process. The investigation of hate crimes is more effective when conducted by specialized units, but it should also be conducted by ordinary police units.
2. To publish the statistics on hate crimes, including their types, regions, and the number of victims. The official statistics should be based on both court decisions (both proven and unproven cases) and the number of opened criminal investigations.
3. To make more active use of the information collected by NGOs engaged in systematic monitoring of the activities of racist groups and to consult with NGOs regarding law enforcement issues.
4. To clarify the legislation on hate crimes and related activities, including public incitement, organizational activities, financing, etc. The legislation should direct the focus of law enforcement agencies on the prosecution, first and foremost, of the most dangerous crimes against the person. The rules and instructions implemented within law enforcement agencies should also focus on this priority.
6. To evaluate national hate speech laws and their enforcement and implementation basing on the six-part threshold test proposed by the Rabat Plan of Action on the prohibition of advocacy of national, racial or religious hatred that constitutes incitement to discrimination, hostility, or violence, adopted by the UN Human Rights Council in 2013.
7. To develop and adopt comprehensive anti-discrimination laws containing effective and valid rules and procedures to prove discrimination.