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Combating Hate Crime in the EU: Preventing Hate Crime, Prosecuting Perpetrators and Supporting Victims

Home affairs, Migration and Integration
Date: Wednesday, 27 March 2019 10:00 - 16:30

Everyday people in Europe experience hatred, despite this, hate crime and hate-motivated harassment often remain outside public consciousness, invisible in official statistics or heavily underreported (European Union Agency for Fundamental Human Rights, 2018). The ramifications of this are multi-layered and mutually reinforcing; underestimating the scale and nature of hate crime undermines measures to prevent it, creating a vicious cycle with victims losing faith in authorities and damaging social cohesion. Laws imposing heavier penalties for bias motivation are in place and services are available for victims, but are these measures sufficient?

Constructed around the obligation to criminalise hate crime, the Framework Decision on combating certain forms and expressions of racism and xenophobia by means of criminal law, alongside the Victims’ Rights Directive, make up EU legislation on hate crime. Hate Crime Recording and Data Collection Practice Across the EU, published in November 2018, analyses the practical impact of these measures. The report identifies shortcomings in recording systems and underreporting, whilst emphasising a growing awareness to confront hate crime. The 28 Member States’ participation in the Subgroup on Methodologies for Recording and Collecting Data on Hate Crime, in connection with the EU High Level Group on Combating Racism, Xenophobia and Other Forms of Intolerance exemplifies this. More specifically, measures to combat Afrophobic, Antigypsy and online hate crime have received attention in 2018 with the publication of conclusion papers on Afrophobia and Antigypsism in the EU, and Instagram, Google+, Snapchat and Dailymotion signing up to the Code of Conduct on Countering Illegal Hate Speech Online.

Whilst momentum in this field is building, fragmentation within criminal justice systems, inadequate approaches to recording crimes and incomplete data present major challenges for tackling hate crime. Greater emphasis must be given to fostering effective methodologies for recording hate crime, countering discriminatory attitudes and actions and promoting multi-stakeholder collaboration. Moreover, fully understanding the needs and vulnerabilities of victims, and the attitudes of perpetrators of hate crimes continue to pose a major challenge.

Considering a holistic approach by assessing methods for prevention, recording and responding to hate crime, supporting victims and challenging ingrained perceptions, this international symposium is an invaluable opportunity to comprehensively examine hate crime at the European level. Delegates from across the EU representing local authorities, the police, legal professionals and third sector practitioners will be encouraged to present different perspectives, challenge existing practices and offer alternative solutions. It promises to provide thought-provoking debate. 

Delegates will:

  • Examine the existing EU framework to combat hate crime
  • Establish best practices for hate crime prevention, recording and protection
  • Discuss preventative measures for minority groups vulnerable to hate crime
  • Consider online hate crime and the responsibilities of social media companies and internet providers 
  • Determine how to challenge ingrained perceptions and counter hate crime in the public sphere
  • Explore approaches to overcome discriminatory attitudes and actions in law enforcement agencies
  • Discuss methods for stepping up multi-agency cooperation 
  • Assess victim support systems, access to remedies and redress for rights’ breaches


09:15 Registration and Morning Refreshments
10:00 Chair's Welcome and Opening Remarks
10:10 Assessing Current Measures to Combat Hate Crime
  • Criminalising Hate Crime: Examining the existing framework to tackle hate crime
  • Comparing Approaches: Establishing best practices for hate crime prevention, recording and protection among Member States
  • Guidance, Conclusions and Recommendations: Translating current analysis into future actions
10:40 First Round of Discussions
11:10 Morning Coffee Break

Preventing Hate Crime: Challenging Perceptions, Policing Online Platforms and Protecting the Vulnerable 

  • Considering the EU Code of Conduct on Countering Illegal Hate Speech Online: Social Media and Internet Providers’ responsibilities
  • Assessing Preventative Measures for Specific Groups: Considering recent proposals to prevent Afrophobic and Antigypsy hate crime
  • Challenging Perceptions and Countering Hate Crime in the Public Sphere: Examining the role of the media, politicians and the wider community 
12:00 Second Round of Discussions
12:30 Networking Lunch

Making Hate Crime Visible in the EU: Fostering Positive Policing and Multi-Agency Collaboration  

  • Examining Police Practices: Detecting, investigating and prosecuting hate crime
  • Fostering Appropriate and Positive Cultures within Law Enforcement Agencies: Countering discriminatory attitudes and actions
  • Establishing Effective Multi-Agency Work: Promoting collaboration and cooperation at every stage of the criminal justice process
14:00 Third Round of Discussions
14:30 Afternoon Coffee Break

Overcoming Hate Crime: Remedies, Redress and Support for Victims 

  • Promoting A European Network for Victims’ Rights, Information and Funding: Considering the Victims’ Support Directive in practice
  • Navigating the Criminal Justice System: Supporting victims through the process of reporting
  • Protecting Vulnerable Groups in Society: Examining anti-hate campaigns, initiatives and projects 
15:20 Fourth Round of Discussions
15:50 Chair's Summary and Closing Remarks
16:00 Networking Reception and Refreshments
16:30 Symposium Close





All Dates

  • Wednesday, 27 March 2019 10:00 - 16:30

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