Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of racism, A/68/329, 16 August 2013
II. Contributions received from Member States
59. Article 427 of the penal code criminalizes any actions to hinder or obstruct a person in the exercise of a right or a choice provided for in the Constitution, laws, regulations or any other provisions on discriminatory grounds. Article 428 criminalizes the public promotion of any discriminatory acts referred to in the foregoing article. Article 315 criminalizes discrimination in employment on grounds of birth, nationality, political affiliation, race, ethnic origin, sexual orientation, gender, religion, opinion, economic status, disability, physical condition or any other type of social status.
78. The Public Information Act prohibits the publishing of information that encourages discrimination, hatred or violence against persons or groups of persons on the basis of their race, religion, nationality, ethnicity, gender or sexual orientation. It further allows lawsuits to be filed by both victims and human rights organizations.
III. Contributions received from intergovernmental, non-governmental and other organizations
B. Council of Europe
119. Following a visit to Greece, the Commissioner for Human Rights of the Council of Europe provided a detailed submission in which he noted that, in addition to migrants, other social groups such as Roma, members of the Muslim minority of Turkish ethnic origin, lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender persons and human rights defenders had been targeted through hate speech and violence.
F. Social Action Centre/No Borders project
129. The non-governmental organization submitted information on Ukraine and reported that few efforts were made to investigate and prosecute hate crimes, including those against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. It was further indicated that Roma people, along with other minorities, were facing discrimination in their daily lives.
130. The non-governmental organization also mentioned the institutionalization of racism through the practice of racial profiling by the police and the repeated incidents of racially motivated police violence against minority groups, including undocumented migrants, asylum seekers and minorities. The lack of political will to tackle racism and xenophobia was emphasized.
IV. Conclusions and recommendations
142. The Special Rapporteur notes with appreciation that several States have prescribed in their criminal codes that racist and xenophobic motivation constitute an aggravating circumstance attracting heavier sanctions against not only instigators but also followers. In the light of the various reports of cases of hate speech that remain unpunished and the widespread impunity enjoyed by perpetrators, the Special Rapporteur wishes to emphasize that it is extremely dangerous to institutionalize impunity, given that this sends the wrong signal to perpetrators and weakens the rule of law. He reiterates the recommendation made in his report to the Human Rights Council (A/HRC/23/24, para. 32) and calls upon States to fulfil their responsibility of bringing to justice the perpetrators of crimes with racist, xenophobic, anti-Semitic or homophobic motivation and to combat impunity. Any failure on the part of a State to fulfil these obligations represents a threat to the rule of law and democracy.
Link to full text of the report: Report-SRRacism-GA-Nazism-2013-eng