Finishing international project “Tackling Hate Crime and Hate Speech” which was supported by the Rights, Equality and Citizenship Programme of the European Union, Human Rights Monitoring Institute organized roundtable discussion “Support to victims of hate crimes”.
In response to recent events in Lithuania, when several possibly hate motivated incidents took place, a lot of questions regarding timely and effective support to victims of hate crimes were raised. Situations where victims were not adequately assured of their basic rights, such as right to information, translation, legal aid, emotional support, and other rights, were yet again encountered. In discussing these issues, participants of the discussion agreed that changes are needed in both the application of the law and the overall approach to the phenomenon of hate crimes. Unfortunately, bias motivation often remains unnoticed, and victims have so far not been able to get help from specialized support services.
Results of the project “Tackling Hate Crime and Hate Speech” were also presented during the discussion. The Comparative Report “Tackling Hate Crime and Hate Speech in Europe” was elaborated during the project. It consists of three main parts: “Comparative Hate Crime Report”, “Hate Crime and Hate Speech Reporting Mechanisms in Europe: a Collection of Good Practices”, “Manual for Development of Online Hate Crime Reporting Mechanism”. During the project, partners from Czech Republic “IN IUSTITIA” prepared another valuable tool – manual on legal aid to hate crime victims “Bias Crime Victims and the Right to Legal Aid“, which was also presented during discussion.