State Department Human Rights Report Highlights Greek Failings

The annual State Department report on the state of human rights across the globe, which was released on Wednesday, points to several challenges facing Greece.

The report mainly focuses on the conditions facing refugees and asylum seekers. “According to a wide range of credible sources, including international organizations and NGOs, authorities did not always provide adequate security or physical protection to migrants and asylum seekers”, it says.

The report notes that the International Rescue Committee had determined that more than seventy individuals had been sexually abused at the migrant camp in Moria from March to October.

“Several incidents of gender-based violence, including domestic violence, sexual harassment, and rape, were also recorded in organized facilities on the mainland. “Doctors without Borders” reported that two victims of sexual abuse in the Moria RIC were under five years of age,” the report added.

Other issues highlighted in the State Department report include the criminalization of libel, corruption, and violence targeting LGBTQI people.

Concerning corruption, the report said the government did not always implement its own laws effectively, noting that “officials sometimes engaged in corrupt practices with impunity.”

Permanent and ad hoc government entities charged with combating corruption were understaffed and underfinanced, the US report added.

However, the Directorate of Internal Affairs of the Hellenic Police reported an 8.5 percent reduction in the number of corruption-related complaints filed in 2017 compared to 2016.

On the other hand, the report noted that Greece had taken steps to “investigate, prosecute and punish officials who committed human rights abuses, whether in the security services or elsewhere in the government.”

You can read the full State Department report here.