EUROPEAN COMMISSION - Europa EU

Dec 7, 2016 - hate crime training curricula for law enforcement and criminal justice ... on resources and initiatives to support training of law enforcement.
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EUROPEAN COMMISSION DIRECTORATE-GENERAL JUSTICE AND CONSUMERS Directorate C : Fundamental Rights and Rule of Law Unit C2 : Fundamental Rights Policy

2nd Meeting of the EU High Level Group on Combating Racism, Xenophobia and other forms of intolerance – Brussels, 7 December 2016

HATE CRIME TRAINING: STANDARDS, PRACTICES, CHALLENGES The primary responsibility for ensuring an adequate response to hate crimes begins with dedicated state and local law enforcement and criminal justice officials. For these officials to develop the specialized skills necessary for the identification, recording, investigation, prosecution and sanctioning of hate crimes, and for ensuring a fair and adequate treatment of victims, specialised hate crime training is key. The development of hate crime training curricula for law enforcement and criminal justice personnel and its delivery on a regular and systematic basis is necessary for these authorities to build their own capacity. Hate crime training programmes should therefore be an integral part of any comprehensive initiative to address hate crime, which every Member State should have in place with a view to ensuring that EU and national hate crime laws and rules on victims’ rights and support are effectively enforced in practice. This background paper has been drafted by the European Commission's services (DG JUST) taking into account information gathered from the Member States and on the basis of the input of key stakeholders such as civil society organisations, the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA), the EU Agency for Law Enforcement Training (CEPOL) and international bodies such as OSCE’s Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) as well as the Council of Europe. The paper is aimed at giving an overview of main standards, practices and challenges in the design and delivery of hate crime training in the Member States and at providing general information on resources and initiatives to support training of law enforcement and criminal justice officers on hate crimes at national level (see annex). The paper does not have the ambition to be in any way exhaustive, its main objective rather being to outline key issues with a view to a discussion of the High Level Group on ways to address gaps and challenges. Discussions should also build on the meeting of the Working Group on minimal standards for hate crime training, hosted in Bratislava by the Slovak Presidency of the Council of the EU on 1-2 December 2016 and whose outcomes will be presented by the Slovak delegation to the High Level Group on 7 December 2016. Overview of main standards and practices in the Member States Information gathered by the European Commission shows that more than half of the Member States provided some form of hate crime training for law enforcement and/or criminal justice officers during the past five years. There are, however, sensible differences on the way hate crime training is designed and delivered, depending on the specific national legal framework and organisational structure of law enforcement and criminal justice agencies. Notwithstanding these differences, the following elements can be pointed out in order to provide an overview of existing standards and practices in the Member States. I. Impact and sustainability Holistic approach – Training programmes are perceived as more successful when integrated in broader initiatives to address hate crimes, such as action plans or strategies with clear goals, targets and indicators, awareness raising initiatives, or measures to address underreporting and improve victims’ support. This is particularly important also with a view to ensure executive commitment to address hate crime, build motivation and engagement of training targets and strengthen and foster coordination and cooperation between different national authorities (police, prosecution, judiciary, but also prevention-related services in areas such as education, social affairs, health, etc.) as well as between national authorities and other actors (equality bodies,