Hate crime

This section provides an overview of OSCE commitments and activities to counter hate crime, as well as relevant documents and publications from various sources. The section also includes tools to help counter hate crime.

ODIHR's definition of a hate crime is: a criminal act motivated by bias towards a certain group. For a criminal act to qualify as a hate crime, it must meet two criteria:

  • The act must be a crime under the criminal code of the legal jurisdiction in which it is committed;
  • The crime must have been committed with a bias motivation.

"Bias motivation" means that the perpetrator chose the target of the crime on the basis of protected characteristics.

A "protected characteristic" is a fundamental or core characteristic that is shared by a group, such as "race", religion, ethnicity, language or sexual orientation.

The target of a hate crime may be a person, people or property associated with a group that shares a protected characteristic.