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Report of the Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of ismism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance, A/HRC/29/47, 13 April 2015

II.       Information received relating to the existence of extremist political parties, movements and groups, including neo-Nazis, skinhead groups and similar extremist ideological movements

B.      Protecting victims and vulnerable groups against racist and xenophobic crimes

13.     The Special Rapporteur has received reports of attacks by individuals and groups linked to far-right and neo-Nazi groups on homosexual and bisexual men, and lesbian and transgender women. The same groups that attack, discriminate and promote discrimination against racial minorities are also involved in attacks against individuals on the basis of their sexual identity.

14.     In the opinion of the Special Rapporteur, the identity of an individual is made up of multiple components, including gender, age, nationality, profession, sexual orientation, political opinion, religious affiliation and social origin; therefore, tolerance, mutual understanding and respect for all, without prejudice, stereotyping or discrimination, should be the basis of human relations of any kind. He also notes the underreporting of that type of violence and urges States to take the necessary measures to address the multiple and often interlinked forms of discrimination faced by individuals on the basis of their race, colour, descent, national or ethnic origin or sexual orientation.

V.        Countering Holocaust denial and the distortion of history

28.     Holocaust denial is an attempt to negate the established facts of the Nazi genocide of European Jews, Roma, lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender persons as well as political opponents. Some key denial assertions are that the murder of approximately 6 million Jews during the Second World War never occurred, that the Nazis had no official policy or intention to exterminate the Jews and that the concentration camps such as Auschwitz-Birkenau never existed nor served that purpose.

VII.    Conclusions and recommendations

Legislative measures

45.     As stated in paragraph 13 of the outcome document of the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action, any advocacy of national, racial or religious hatred that constitutes incitement to discrimination, hostility or violence should be prohibited by law, as should be the dissemination of ideas based on racial superiority or hatred, incitement to racial discrimination as well as all acts of violence or incitement to such acts. In that regard, the Special Rapporteur calls upon all States to respect the commitments made in the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action, which is a comprehensive framework for action against racism, racial discrimination and xenophobia. He also recommends that States adopt legislation that conforms to international human rights standards, including the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, paying particular attention to their obligations under article 4 of the Convention. In that connection, in order to prevent and address in an effective manner the commission of racist or xenophobic crimes by individuals and groups of individuals closely linked to extremist political parties, movements and groups, States should introduce into domestic criminal law a provision to the effect that the commission of an offence with racist, xenophobic, anti-Semitic or homophobic motivation or aim constitutes an aggravating circumstance attracting heavier sanctions.

46.     The Special Rapporteur reiterates that States have the obligation to prosecute the perpetrators of crimes with racist, xenophobic, anti-Semitic or homophobic motivations and to fight against impunity. States should ensure prompt, thorough and impartial investigation into those crimes, and that those responsible are adequately sanctioned.

Disaggregated data

48.     The Special Rapporteur appreciates efforts made to document racially motivated crimes, and reiterates recommendations made in previous reports to the Human Rights Council and the General Assembly that States should collect disaggregated data and statistics on racist, xenophobic, anti-Semitic and homophobic crimes in order to identify the types of offences committed, the characteristics of the victims and of the perpetrators and whether they are affiliated with an extremist political party, movement or group. Such disaggregated data would provide a better understanding of the phenomenon and identify effective measures to be taken to address those crimes. States should provide adequate financial, human and technical resources to improve the quality of data collection systems where those already exist, while ensuring that civil society is involved in the process, which is to be undertaken in such a way as to guarantee the protection of privacy.

Education and capacity-building

52.     The Special Rapporteur also recommends that the capacity of law enforcement officials and members of the judiciary be strengthened further to address crimes motivated by racist, xenophobic, anti-Semitic or homophobic biases. Comprehensive and mandatory human rights training, including training with a specific focus on racist and xenophobic crimes perpetrated by individuals linked to extremist political parties, groups and movements, should be provided to public officials, including law enforcement agents, who should also be provided with the necessary guidelines and procedures to be able to identify, investigate and register such crimes. He emphasizes that States should also ensure that law enforcement agents engage with vulnerable groups who are particularly at risk of racist, xenophobic, anti-Semitic or homophobic crimes, in order to reduce their legitimate fears and concerns, restore confidence in the application of the rule of law, and that they report such crimes adequately.

Link to full text of the report: Report-SRRacism-Nazism-2015-eng