An international conference for finding ways to assist hate crime victims and combat hate crime in Europe is taking place in Vilnius, Lithuania.
On 12 – 13 November, the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) organizes the conference, “Combating Hate Crime in the EU.” According to the data collected by FRA, violence or other hate crimes motivated by racism, xenophobia, religious intolerance or bias against a person because of his disability, sexual orientation, gender identity or another feature, are spreading in the whole EU. However, a substantial number of hate crime victims either do not report it to competent authorities or are not provided with the necessary assistance.
Juozas Bernatonis, Lithuanian Minister of Justice said about the need to help hate crime victims. “Hate crime is a problem faced by thousands of EU residents. Our response to this should be resolute. The society needs to realise that such acts will not be tolerated, and victims will be provided with assistance and support.”
The objectives of the Conference will be: (i) to develop concrete proposals for follow-up on FRA’s opinions pertaining to hate crime; (ii) to explore practical solutions for victim support services tailored to specific situation and needs of hate crime victims; (iii) to stimulate debate on hate crime and exchange ideas and practices on how to combat it on an EU as well as Member State levels; (iv) to pool evidence and expertise of a variety of stakeholders in view of the foreseen review of the EU Directive on combating certain forms and expressions of racism and xenophobia by means of criminal law; (v) and to enhance cooperation between stakeholders at different levels to counter hate crime more effectively.