For immediate release

May 1, 2020

Human Rights Watch Finds Hate Crimes and Intolerance on the Rise

Human Rights Watch’s (HRW) 30th annual world report, compiled earlier this year and recently released, indicates that there is still much to do in eradicating human rights abuses, religious intolerance and violence. Over 600 pages long, the report details international spikes in hate crimes and overt forms of intolerance toward minorities in the U.S., Europe and across the globe.

In the U.S., violent crime by individuals identifying as white supremacists continued its decade-long rising trend, which began to sharply spike in 2016. Despite evidence that, in the past four years, a growing transnational white supremacist movement espousing radical anti-Semitic, racist and misogynist views, has emerged, HRW found that U.S. law enforcement agencies have done far less to prevent such violent crimes than they have attacks inspired by extreme interpretations of Islam. In September, the Department of Homeland Security, responding to 10 years of prodding by local law enforcement and minority groups, added white supremacist violence as a priority threat for the first time.

Man holding sign against white supremacy
Photo by Sundry Photography/Shutterstock.com

Abroad, HRW found that racist acts in France increased by 20 percent with anti-Semitic acts increasing by more than 70 percent over a two-year period.

Across the EU, Human Rights Watch found racism, xenophobia, Islamophobia, and anti-Semitism still prevalent, with violence both threatened and accomplished. Muslims, including women who wear the hijab, continue to experience widespread hostility and intolerance in EU countries.

“The ugly things of this world, the evil that springs from unreasoning prejudice and bigotry, the cruel actions spawned by hatred, are oftentimes hard to confront.”

Meanwhile, anti-Semitism continues to rise in Europe. In its July report, the EU’s Fundamental Rights Agency (FRA) found that 44 percent of young Jewish Europeans experienced anti-Semitic harassment. Of those victims experiencing harassment, 80 percent did not report it to the police or any law enforcement agency, while 45 percent chose not to wear, carry or display distinguishable Jewish items in public because of concerns about their safety.

STAND applauds Human Rights Watch’s efforts to spotlight bigotry and crimes of intolerance and hate across the globe.

“The ugly things of this world, the evil that springs from unreasoning prejudice and bigotry, the cruel actions spawned by hatred, are oftentimes hard to confront,” said STAND International Director Edward Parkin. “Human Rights Watch, by providing us with the unvarnished facts, gives us the ability to face these evils head on, so that we can do something about them.”

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