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Human Rights Watch, Hate on the Streets: Xenophobic Violence in Greece, 10 July 2012

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Type of publication


Geographical coverage


Area/location of interest

Not applicable - national level

Type of Institution

Civil society organisation


Human Rights Watch

Main Thematic Focus

Hate crime Racism & xenophobia

Target Population

Migrants Refugees & asylum seekers

Key findings

The true extent of xenophobic violence in Greece is unknown. Government statistics are unreliable due to failures of the criminal justice system, beginning with law enforcement, to adequately identify, investigate and prosecute hate crimes. Underreporting by victims, particularly undocumented migrants, is also a significant problem. In practice, the police appear ill-equipped or ill-disposed to investigate reports of racist violence. There is no specialized, practical training at the police academies, and there are no specialized officers tasked with pursuing or overseeing investigations into possible hate crimes. The response of the judiciary has also been inadequate.

Methodology (Qualitative/Quantitative and exact type used, questionnaires etc)

Qualitative. This report is based on interviews conducted by the Human Rights Watch.

Sample details and representativeness

Interviews were conducted with 59 people who experienced or escaped a xenophobic incident, including 51 serious attacks, between August 2009 and May 2012. Victims of serious attacks included migrants and asylum seekers .

DISCLAIMERThe information presented here is collected under contract by the FRA's research network FRANET. The information and views contained do not necessarily reflect the views or the official position of the FRA.