Data on hatred and prejudices motivated violence in 2021


On the International Day for Tolerance, on 16 November 2020, OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) published its data on hate crimes for 2021.

For Croatia, data is available here divided in two categories:

I. Official data on hate crimes recorded by the authorities

In 2021, a slightly higher number of hate crime cases were recorded in official records compared to the previous year - 101 criminal offenses in 2021 compared to 87 criminal offenses in 2020. The largest number of such criminal acts (as many as 77) is still motivated by racism and xenophobia, followed by the ground of sexual orientation and gender identity with a share of almost 10% or eight such cases. Six crimes were motivated by prejudice against Christians or other religious beliefs. Prejudices against Roma form the motivation for three criminal offenses, which are followed by two criminal offenses motivated by prejudice against Muslims and one criminal offense based on gender / gender expression.

According to the type of crime, almost half refer to threats or threatening behavior with as many as 44 cases, most of which, 35 of them, are motivated by racism and xenophobia. Four criminal offenses were motivated by hatred and/or prejudices against gays and lesbians and other non-binary persons, and one criminal offense was based each on hatred and/or prejudice against Roma, Muslims, Christians and/or other religious communities, and one offense based on gender/gender expression.

They are followed by criminal acts of damage to property, of which there are 16, again mostly motivated by racism and xenophobia (15) and one criminal act motivated by prejudice against Christians and/or other religious communities.

A total of 10 physical attacks were recorded, of which half were motivated by racism and xenophobia (5), two physical attacks each were motivated by hatred and/or prejudice against LGBTI persons and Christians and/or other religious communities, and one physical attack is based on prejudice and/or hatred against Muslims.

Public incitement to hatred and violence constitutes nine criminal acts, predominantly based on racism and xenophobia, and one motivated by prejudices and/or hatred against the Roma.

There are two criminal acts of sexual assault on the victim - on the basis of racism and xenophobia and prejudices and/or hatred against the Roma.

Two thefts or robberies were recorded on the ground of racism and xenophobia, and one act of disturbing public order and peace was also recorded on this ground.

However, as many as 13 recorded cases refer to an unspecified type of criminal offense, which is unacceptable for data from official sources. Ten unspecified criminal acts were motivated by racism and xenophobia, two by prejudices and/or hatred against LGBTI and one against Christians and/or other religious communities.

II. Data that are not part of the official data on hate crimes for 2021 collected and presented by the Office for Human Rights and the Rights of the National Minorities to the Government, but are collected by civil society organizations and international organizations (list of contributors is available here).

Data from civil society speak of 44 hate-motivated incidents in 2021, which is slightly less recorded than the previous year when 54 cases were recorded. However, we recorded some cases as a group rather than individuals.

Most of the cases recorded by civil society organizations were motivated by racism and xenophobia - 24 of them. With this motivation, 15 cases of violent attacks on persons, eight threats and seven attacks on property were recorded.

The next group targeted for attack are persons of same-sex sexual orientation, out of a total of 18 recorded cases, 11 related to violent attacks on persons, and four attacks on property and three threats were recorded.

There were three recorded attacks on property against Christians and/or other religious communities.

Three threats were addressed, one each to the Roma, Jewish community and one on the basis of gender/gender expression, while one attack on a person of the Islamic faith was also recorded.

Violent attacks on persons in 2021, according to data collected by civil society, include insults followed by punches and beatings with various objects, and are aimed mainly at minority/vulnerable groups and migrants.

Attacks on property most often include graffiti on public or private property, the content of which calls for violence against minority/vulnerable groups.

The recorded threats were directed against persons or property (destruction of vehicles, houses or other private objects) on the basis of belonging to a minority.

Prejudice against Christians and/or other religious communities refers either to break-ins or damage to Orthodox churches in Croatia.


What is the difference between a hate crime (under I) and a hate incident (under II)?

Hate crimes refer to criminal acts as recorded and reported by local authorities. These are usually recorded by police and then processed through criminal justice systems.

Hate incidents are those reported by civil society, international organizations and the Holy See. While these incidents might constitute hate crimes, they may not have been verified by the state authorities. ODIHR reviews every hate incident reported to ensure that those incidents displayed on the ODIHR site fall within the scope of the OSCE’s definition of hate crime.

Reports on hate incidents from civil society groups play a critical role in hate crime reporting, complementing and contextualizing the official data. Information submitted by civil society allows for a better understanding of the impact and nature of hate crimes. Some incidents are only reported to civil society groups and not to the authorities for various reasons, for instance the fear of secondary victimisation, or because of distrust in the work of institutions and the feeling that as a victim I will not receive adequate protection and satisfaction.


ODIHR recognizes the efforts of domestic institutions to improve hate crime recording and data collection, and in its concluding observation welcomes the recently updated interagency Protocol on handling hate crime cases. However, based on available information, it notes that domestic records and statistics do not sufficiently distinguish hate crimes from other crimes. In addition, ODIHR notes that Croatia could benefit from building the capacity of officials in the judiciary to solve hate crimes and, in this sense, offers cooperation and support, which we hope the institutions will wholeheartedly accept.

Where can this information be found?

The website of the Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) allows users to search and extract information about the details of incidents by country, type of incident and basis of perpetration, i.e., the characteristics of the victim, and has been recorded, along with competent institutions and civil society organizations, by international organizations and religious groups.

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