On January 27th national LGBT rights organization LGL invited representatives from other non-governmental organizations to the discussion “HATE NO MORE: the circumstance of the under-reporting of the hate crimes in Lithuania”.
During the meeting NGOs addressed one of the biggest challenges – the latency of hate crimes, the number of reports of the hate motivated incidents are very low and in the last few years was decreasing rapidly. As a consequence not only are the law enforcement institutions unable to assess the prevalence of such crimes, but also take preventive action that would effectively address the problem.
The Ministry of Interior Affairs of Lithuania established a working group which was tasked to “investigate hate crime monitoring, analysis and provide with the suggestions for improvement”. Although the decision to invite representatives of civil society to the working group is much welcomed, it became clear during the very first meeting that representatives of police and prosecutors office do not acknowledge the real scale of the hate crimes and hate speech against certain social groups in Lithuania.
The representatives of civil society during the meeting on January 27th discussed the intrinsic causes for under-reporting of the hate crimes and hate speech incidents, and agreed on the measures to be taken in order to address the problem. On the basis of the proposal a joint appeal will be prepared and submitted to the authorities overseeing the monitoring and investigation of the hate crimes.