Warsaw, October 5, 2009 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today called on the 56 states of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) to make good on their pledge to respond to growing anti-Semitism and hate violence across the region.
ADL presented recommendations to governments at the OSCE's annual Human Dimension Implementation Meeting in Warsaw on action to address the problem.
"Since we last gathered in this room, anti-Semitism has gained legitimacy across the OSCE region and around the world," Stacy Burdett, ADL Associate Director of Government and National Affairs, told the OSCE gathering in Warsaw. "This is accompanied by a rise in violent extremism targeting Jews and others, based on their race, religion, ethnicity and sexual orientation. While a growing number of states are tackling the challenge of hate crime, only a small minority of the states have an adequate system in place."
ADL called on the 56 Participating States to:
- Urge the Ministers Council to condemn the rise of anti-Semitism and hate violence, welcome the contribution of the three Personal Representatives of the Chairman in Office on anti-Semitism and intolerance and urge their reappointment by the incoming CiO. These representatives focus on distinct and specific forms of intolerance and can mobilize a targeted response at the political level as specific problems arise.
- Convene a high-level conference on anti-Semitism and intolerance in 2010 to provide an important focal point to chart a course for progress.
- Fulfill their pledge to monitor and address hate crime. Hate crime laws are the jumping off point for a whole range of political, policy education, prevention and response measures. Even the mere collection of disaggregated hate crime data is a powerful tool to confront anti-Semitism and other forms of bigotry because it highlights the issue of hate violence for policymakers and the public -- and prompts government outreach and police training to identify, report, and respond to hate violence.
- Support the specialized work of the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) Tolerance and non-Discrimination Department and promote its reporting, education and training programs and other tools to combat anti-Semitism and hate crime.
- Utilize ODIHR tools like Hate Crime Laws: A Practical Guide designed to help establish a common framework to improve hate crime response with models for lawmakers, community organizations and law enforcement. States should enlist the help of ODIHR expertise to seek ways to utilize the guide.
- Forge links with civil society. Governments can do a lot to involve communities in efforts to craft and implement policies. States should establish a framework for regular communication between communities and relevant officials. States should also support ODIHR efforts to build the capacity of non-governmental organizations to serve as a bridge between officials and law enforcement and communities to ensure an effective response.
ADL also presented an analysis of the 2008 hate crime report draft issued by the OSCE's Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights. The League reviewed data submitted by the 56 states to the ODIHR and highlighted how each state fares in complying with commitments to fight hate crime. The League urged advocacy by non-governmental organizations around the world in response.
The OSCE Human Dimension Implementation Meeting brings together hundreds of government representatives and human rights experts to review progress made by OSCE Participating States in implementing their commitments in the field of human rights, democracy, and the rule of law.
ADL has been working within the OSCE mechanisms to seek innovative ways to address the fact that anti-Semitism and hate crime are present in far too many countries across Europe and the region of the former Soviet Union. Over the past five years, ADL has presented resources and recommendations to the OSCE on such topics as best practices to confront anti-Semitism, anti-bias education, hate crime data collection, combating youth violence, hate on the Internet and Holocaust education.