Under-Secretary for Foreign Affairs Benedetto Della Vedova chaired the first meeting of the Work Group on Hate Crimes today at the Farnesina in Rome within the framework of the Italian EU Presidency.
“Hate crimes”, Della Vedova said, “damage the social fabric at all levels. There needs to be a cultural leap of quality in addition to proper legislation. The National Anti-Racial Discrimination Office (UNAR) has made significant progress in Italy as well as that regarding the police by the Observatory on Discriminatory Acts (OSCAD). It is, however, necessary to fill the legislative gap with specific laws to prevent crimes against LGBTI persons”, Della Vedova continued, “extending to those individuals the laws that punish the incitement of hatred, violence and discrimination. The defence of human rights is a constant job”, he concluded, “as new challenges continue to emerge along with new goals”.
The Work Group was set up by the European Fundamental Rights Agency (FRA), in implementation of the 5 December 2013 EU Council conclusions, to facilitate the exchange of good practices and assist Member States in developing effective methods to encourage the reporting of hate crimes and ensure they are correctly logged.