European hate crimes should be monitored, says report

By Leon Symons, November 19, 2009

Efforts to crack down on antisemitism and other hate crimes in Europe are being hampered by erratic reporting and monitoring, according to a new report.

The Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights said in its hates crimes incidents report for 2008 that “a lack of accurate, comprehensive data on hate crimes undermines that ability of states to understand fully and deal effectively with the problem of hate crimes”.

It has called on its 56 member states — including America, Canada and Russia — to create and maintain systems through which they can keep accurate records.

Only 19 countries collected data on antisemitic activity, and only eight submitted figures for 2008. Austria and the Czech Republic reported an increase, while Germany, Italy and Britain said their figures had gone down.

However some non-governmental organisations also collected data, through victim reports. Data from the Tel-Aviv based Stephen Roth Institute data showed that there was a decrease i+n antisemitic incidents in all but five of the ODIHR countries.

ODIHR is a division of the Vienna-based Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe.

Last updated: 4:18pm, November 19 2009