Hate crimes committed against persons or property are a daily reality throughout the EU. In many EU countries, policies aimed at combating hate crime focus primarily on sanctioning perpetrators, and only secondary to victim protection, partly due to limited understanding of the specificity of hate crimes and the consequences of such a crime for vulnerable groups.
For this reason, Human Rights House Zagreb published a report “Support System for Victims of Hate Crime in Croatia”, which is the result of a survey conducted in Croatia within the transnational project “V-START – Support to Victims through Raising awareness and networking”. The project focuses on the protection of victims of criminal acts, particularly racist and homophobic hate crimes, and aims to contribute to a better understanding of the specificity of hate crimes and the correct implementation of Directive 012/29 / EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 25 October 2012. on establishing minimum standards for the rights, support and protection of victims of criminal offences.
The report finds that hate crime is insufficiently recognised in Croatia, both by the bodies in whose purview it is to participate in identifying, monitoring and prosecuting it, and by the society as a whole, including its very victims. There is a significant problem of non-reporting of hate crime because the victims are insufficiently informed that it is a criminal offence, or due to fear of retaliation by the perpetrator and lack of trust in the efficiency of the system, that is, due to fear that the crime will not be adequately prosecuted, the perpetrator punished and the victim protected.