Hate crimes have become a global concern, posing significant social, political, and legal challenges. The act of violent behavior motivated by bias against a person’s race, color, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, gender, or disability is considered a severe expression of discrimination.
The COUNTER HATE project, aimed at improving the assistance of victims of hate crimes through a victim-centered and intersectional approach, has completed its research in 6 European countries – Spain, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Slovenia, and Lithuania – aiming to map and evaluate national legislation and policies regarding hate crimes. The results of the research also provide valuable insights into the experiences of victims and key professionals, as well as the viewpoints of civil organisations.
The research included a mapping of the national legal and political frameworks regarding hate crimes, as well as assistance to victims. Additionally, qualitative and quantitative research was conducted, including in-depth interviews and a survey, to analyse the experiences and opinions of victims and key professionals.
Research findings in Lithuania suggest that Lithuanian victim assistance system is lacking, particularly due to lack of sustainability of existing support mechanisms. On the other hand, even with elaborate legal base to counter hate speech and hate crime, LGBTIQ people often hesitate to report incidents to the authorities. Transgender people could be considered being at a particularly disadvantaged situation, as current Lithuanian criminal legislation do not explicitly include gender identity and expression among protected characteristics.
The COUNTER HATE project’s overall aim is to contribute to the assistance of victims of hate crimes by ensuring that legislation and policies in Spain, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Slovenia, and Lithuania are in line with the basic principles of victim-centered and intersectional approaches, ensuring a holistic support provided to those who have experienced these manifestations of discrimination and hate.
Please refer to the report on The crucial role of intersectional and victim-centred approaches to confronting
bias-motivated violence for further reading.
Funded by the European Union. Views and opinions expressed are however those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or the Directorate-General for Justice and Consumers. Neither the European Union nor the Directorate-General for Justice and Consumers can be held responsible for them.