U.S. criticized for not reporting hate crimes to OSCE

(JTA) — The U.S., France, Hungary and Greece were among many countries that failed to report anti-Semitic crimes to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe last year, OSCE wrote in its annual report.

The report, “Hate Crimes in the OSCE Region – Incidents and Responses,” was released last week and said these countries and others had failed to “collect, maintain and make public reliable data and statistics in sufficient detail on hate crimes,” as stated in a binding OSCE decision from 2009.

Most of the international organization’s 56 state members provided “lacking data” on anti-Semitic crimes and other hate crimes, the report said, despite the existence of data on the subject.

In the U.S., the Anti-Defamation League’s annual Audit of Anti-Semitic Incidents recorded 1,080 anti-Semitic incidents in 2011. In France, the Jewish community’s watchdog on anti-Semitism, SPCJ, counted 343 anti-Semitic acts in 2001.

Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director, wrote in a statement that “lack of progress” on reporting is “disturbing.” He added:  “Data collection is especially important – as the jumping-off point for a range of political, policy, education, prevention, and response measures.  Understanding the nature and magnitude of the problem is the essential starting point.”      

Unlike the U.S., the United Kingdom recorded and reported 438 anti-Semitic hate crimes in 2011, according to the report. In Sweden, official law-enforcement figures record 194 anti-Semitic crimes.

“The lack of accurate, comprehensive data on hate crimes undermines the ability of states to understand fully and to deal effectively with the problem of hate crime,” the report said.

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