Comparative paper “Combating hate crime in Latvia and the Czech Republic: legislation, police practice and the role of NGOs”
This paper has been prepared within the framework of the EU-funded project “Combating Hate Crime in Latvia and the Czech Republic: Legislation, Police Practice and the Role of NGOs”, which has been carried out during the period 2006–2008 by the Latvian Centre for Human Rights together with its partner the Czech Helsinki Committee.
The main focus of the project has been to address the issue of ineffective policing of hate crime in the two countries. In addition the project has also focused on issues relating to legislation and its implementation, and on the victim’s perspective and the impact on communities. Through developing cooperation between police and NGOs at both national and international levels, and by involvement of international experts in seminars and conferences, the project has aimed to enhance awareness and understanding, as well as elaborating practical tools and methods for more effective policing of hate crime in the two countries.
After briefly setting the European context, the paper characterises and compares the state of development in each country, and then describes and assesses the contribution made by the project. Finally the paper draws out the lessons learned, and makes recommendations for follow-up activities both at national and European levels.