When faced with a crisis, individuals typically revert to a terrible human trait: protecting their own while looking for a scapegoat to blame for the problem. The pandemic increased interpersonal and individual-level prejudice in a variety of circumstances, from discriminatory views toward racial, ethnic, and religious minority groups to verbal threats and physical assaults directed against them. Physical attacks and verbal abuse against LGBT community, Asian-Americans, Muslims who are frequently blamed as carriers, are now commonplace.

Hate crimes are crimes often motivated by prejudice or hatred towards specific groups of people. To be classified as a hate crime, the act must meet two criteria: first, it must be a criminal offense, and second, it must be motivated by bias. Hate crimes are acts of violence committed with the intent of injuring or intimidating someone based on their race, ethnicity, national origin, religion or sexual orientation. Hate crimes may also target people with disabilities. Hate crimes also appear to be more common in societies that are undergoing rapid social change and emerging groups, which may be culturally dissimilar, are seen as a threat to the status quo. Threats, property damage, assault, murder, and any other criminal offense motivated by prejudice are examples of hate crimes. Individuals from specific groups are not the only ones who are victims of hate crimes. Hate crimes can target people or property that are just affiliated with – or even considered to be a member of – a group that shares a recognized characteristic, such as human rights defenders, community centers, or houses of worship.

Hate crimes, unlike other sorts of crimes, have a far-reaching impact on both the immediate victim and others like them. They not only take lives and wreak havoc on families, but they also traumatize the communities where they occur. These activities create distrust and terror among communities, prohibiting them from participating in community life or cooperating with local law enforcement in investigating and preventing crimes. So, it’s extremely important for the authorities to find a way to stop these hate crimes.

Combating Hate Crimes

  • Recognize and condemn all instances of violent hate crimes. Government officials and public figures should send clear and consistent reminders that violent offenses motivated by bias and intolerance will be fully investigated and prosecuted to the full extent of the law.
  • Acknowledging the particular damage caused by hate crimes, authorities should introduce laws that create specific offenses or increases punishments for violent crimes committed on the basis of the victim’s race, religion, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, mental or physical disabilities, or other similar status.
  • Governments should make sure that people who commit hate crimes face legal consequences of their action.
  • Official monitoring and public reporting systems should be maintained by governments to give reliable data for informed policy decisions to address violent hate crimes.
  • Official anti-discrimination and human rights organizations should have the responsibility to supervise, report, and help victims of hate crimes.
  • Governments should support and strengthen international bodies with anti-discrimination objectives.
  • To minimize fear and support victims, governments should conduct outreach and education activities to communities and civil society groups.

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