Children victims of crime

Any person under the age of 18 is considered a child.
Abuse and neglect of minors is a crime and is prosecuted in accordance with the provisions of the Penal Code and the Code of Criminal Procedure.
Children victims should be treated as the full bearers of rights as defined in Directive 2012/29/EU and the best interests of the child should be a primary concern and assessed on an individual basis, since minor victims require special support and protection due to the high risk of secondary and repeated victimization, bullying, and retaliation. Based on the child-friendly approach, the age, maturity level, views, needs, and concerns of the child victim are taken into account.

Law 4478/2017 on the Rights of Victims focuses on the protection and treatment of minor victims of crime by establishing the Independent Offices for Minor Victims under the title “House of the Child.” With a view to the operation of the “House of the Child”, Ministerial Decision 7320/3.6.2019 was issued, specifying the responsibilities of the professionals staffing the newly established Independent Offices for Minor Victims, as well as the procedures for examining the minor victim.

Reporting incidents of child abuse

To report child abuse, you can contact:

  • the Subdivision for the Protection of Minors of the Attica Security Directorate – General Police Directorate of Attica (GADA): 173 Alexandras Ave., tel. 210 6476370, email:
  • the Subdivision for the Protection of Minors of the Security Directorate of Thessaloniki: 326 Monastiriou St, tel. 2310 388456.
  • the local Security Services of the Prefectures of the other Hellenic Police Services.

For more on online safety, read here. To report incidents of online harassment, pedophilia or child pornography, you can contact the Cybercrime Unit at the following contact details:

  • By phone: 11188
  • By e-mail to:
  • Through the application for smart phones with an ios-android operating system: CYBERKID

Source: Hellenic Police – Minors

If you are a minor (under 18 years old), your legal representative (your parent or guardian) can report the crime for you. If you are over the age of 12, you can report the crime together with your legal representative (118 par. 2 Penal Code).

Whether you have special rights during the criminal proceedings depends on the nature of the offence. For instance, if you are a victim of an infringement of your personal or sexual freedom, human trafficking, sex tourism, abduction, kidnapping or a sex crime, you have a right to:
It depends on the nature of the offence whether you will be granted additional rights in the criminal proceedings. In particular, if you are a victim of violation of personal and sexual freedom, human trafficking, sex tourism, abduction, kidnapping or a sex crime, you have a right to:

  • consult your case file, even if you have not joined the criminal proceedings as a civil party (Article 108A Criminal Procedure Code, CPC);
  • have your interview recorded so that it can be used during the further criminal proceedings and you do not need to appear again before the prosecutor or the court (Article 226A CPC);
  • obtain the assistance of a psychologist or child psychiatrist when you are examined as a witness;
  • obtain information on whether the offender has been released (Article 108A CPC);
  • request a restraining order against the offender prohibiting him or her from contacting you or going near your home.
  • Moreover, you are in any case entitled to:
  • an individual assessment, in order to establish whether special protection measures should be applied where there is a risk of repeat victimisation (Article 68 of Law 4478/2017, on the individual assessment of victims to identify specific protection needs (Article 22 of Directive 2012/29/EU));
  • request the prosecution or judicial authorities to appoint a legal guardian for minors (epimelitís anilikón) to represent you at any stage of the criminal proceedings, if your parents are unable to represent your or if you are unaccompanied or separated from your family (Article 69(7) of Law 4478/2017, on the right to protection of victims with specific protection needs during criminal proceedings (Articles 23 and 24 of Directive 2012/29/EU);
  • ask to join the proceedings as a civil party seeking damages, assisted by your legal representative (Article 82(2) CPC).

Source: e-justice – Minors

Child Victim Support Services

National Center for Social Solidarity (E.K.K.A.)
The National Center for Social Solidarity coordinates a network of social support services for individuals, families, and population groups experiencing a psychosocial crisis or in need of immediate social assistance
The National Center for Social Solidarity is a legal entity under public law with its headquarters in Athens, supervised by the Ministry of Labour, Social Security and Social Solidarity.
Its services for victims of domestic violence include:

  • Direct Social Aid Line “197” for all citizens. Operating on a daily 24-hour basis. Calls are toll free.
  • National Line for Child Protection “1107” for issues concerning children. Operating daily on a 24-hour basis.
  • Social Support Center in Athens, Piraeus, and Thessaloniki
  • Shelters for citizens with serious socio-economic problems in Attica
  • Shelters for women, alone or with their children, who are in danger in Attica and Thessaloniki. Services provided include:
  • counselling services and information on social welfare issues
  • social and psychological support to individuals or families immediate accommodation for women – alone or with their children – who are in danger (mainly victims of violence – domestic violence, victims of human trafficking)
  • short-term accommodation in shelters for individuals experiencing a crisis or social emergency
  • cooperation and mediation to facilitate access to social solidarity services provided by other bodies. CONTACT:


Other providers of support for child victims:

  • NGO “The Smile of the Child”: provides services nationwide, on a 24-hour basis, 365 days a year, with the mission of implementing prevention and intervention actions for child victims of all forms of violence , Children who disappear , Children with health problems, Children living in or at threat of living in a state of poverty, as well as treatment actions for child victims of all forms of violence. Services : – National SOS Line 1056 – Chat Application 1056 for Children only – European Missing Children Line 116000, and National Coordination Program Amber Alert Hellas for timely and accurate notification of citizens in cases of missing/abducted minors – European Child Support Line 116111 – Homes for Children victims of all forms of violence


Individual assessment of the children victims of crime

In accordance with the provisions of Directive 2012/29/EU and Law 4478/2017, as incorporated in Article 6 of Ministerial Decision 7320/3-6-2019 on the Regulation of the operation of the Independent Offices for Minor Victims “House of the Child” – Structured protocol for the examination of the minor victim as a witness “during the individual assessment, assess with particular attention whether the child victim is at risk of secondary and repeated victimization, bullying and retaliation and seek a reasonable likelihood that the child victim will benefit from the special protection measures’.

The aim of the individual assessment of the needs of the child victim is to safeguard the rights of the child, to assess any violation of the child’s rights, and to meet/manage the needs that arise resulting in the safe and least traumatic participation of the child victim in criminal proceedings.

Directive 2012/29/EU does not define priority categories for victims, as all victims are entitled to an individual assessment. However, as stated in the Directive, child victims, victims of intimate partner violence, sexual violence or exploitation, gender-based violence, trafficking in human beings, terrorism, organized crime, hate crime, and victims with disabilities should be assessed with particular attention as they are usually particularly vulnerable. In this context, children are always assessed as victims with special protection needs.

In accordance with the Directive and as included in Ministerial Decision 7320/3-6-2019, the assessment of victims’ needs must be tailored and adaptable, depending on the seriousness of the offence and/or the harm suffered by the victim, and must be ongoing and updated throughout the criminal proceedings, taking into account any changes in the victims’ situation or other circumstances that may affect the safety of victims.

The assessment is expected to take place as soon as possible after the crime has been reported and if it is impeded (e.g. the victim has difficulties in concentrating and understanding the questions due to physical or psychological trauma), it will take place as soon as circumstances allow for effective communication with him/her. If it is not possible to conduct the assessment, the professional shall assess how any potential risk can be addressed by collecting information from the victim’s environment while respecting the confidentiality of the proceedings. Particularly in the case of child victims, the place where the individual assessment will take place should support the creation of an appropriate and safe environment for the child.

The assessment shall take into account the personal characteristics of the victim, the type or nature of the crime, the relationship between the victim and the offender, and the circumstances of the crime, and shall consider which specific protection measures, as defined in Articles 23 and 24 of Directive 2012/29/EU, should be applied. Hence, factors such as the nature and seriousness of the offence, the degree of trauma and repeated victimization, gender, age, cognitive and mental capacity, any language issues, gender identity or expression, ethnicity, race, religion, sexual orientation, health, disability, residence status, communication difficulties, and the degree of relationship (dependency) between the victim and the offender should be taken into account when conducting the assessment in order to provide a comprehensive assessment of each case.

Source: Artinopoulou, V. & Michael, I. (2021) ‘The Minor Victim in the Criminal Trial’, Training Material, National Centre for Public Administration and Self-Government, Greece. (in Greek)

The child as witness – Forensic examination

According to Ministerial Decision 7320/3-6-2019, the participation of the minor victim in the examination of the victim as a witness must include the following stages:

  • Preparation – Preparatory processes
  • Preliminary meeting with the minor victim
    • Assessment of perceptual abilities
    • Assessment of the ability to discriminate between truth and falsehood
    • Developmental stage assessment
  • Establishing a relationship of trust and security between the minor victim and the interviewer
  • Explanation of interview rules
  • Introduction
  • Free narration of facts
  • Clarifying questions
  • Closing and completion of the interview

A key element for the smooth and successful conduct of the forensic examination with the minor victim is building a relationship of trust between the professional and the minor child. Developing a relationship of trust involves creating a positive relationship with the victim and building a cooperative context in which the victim feels safe and comfortable to share his/her story, giving the professional the opportunity to gather information, which requires:

  • Good preparation.
  • Use of basic principles of empathy, neutrality, and objectivity
  • Introductions, greeting, introduction and explanation of the purpose of the discussion.
  • Use of the victim’s name throughout the discussion
  • Addressing the concerns of the victim.
  • Management of cultural or language issues
  • Use of communication skills

According to Article 227 – Code of Criminal Procedure (Law 4620/2019) – Minor witnesses who are victims of violations of personal and sexual freedom

  1. During the examination of the child victim as a witness of the acts referred to in Articles 323A para. 4, 324, 336, 337 para. 3, 338,, 339, 342, 343, 345, 348, 348A , 348B , 348 C , 349, 351 A PC , as well as in Articles 29 para. 5 and 6 and 30 of Law 4251/2014, a specially trained child psychologist or child psychiatrist and, in their absence, a psychologist or psychiatrist working in the Independent Offices for Minor Victims, or included in the list of expert witnesses where these do not operate, shall be appointed and present as an expert witness. Examination of the minor victim as a witness must be carried out in the Independent Offices for Minor Victims of the Appellate District or, where these do not exist, in spaces specially designed and adapted for this purpose, without undue delay and with as limited a number of interviews as possible.
  2. The child psychologist or child psychiatrist shall prepare the minor for the examination, cooperating to this end with the preliminary investigation officers and the judicial officers, as well as with any appointed technical advisers of the defendant, without prejudice to Article 207 as regards their personal contact with the minor. To this end, he or she shall utilize appropriate diagnostic methods, make a decision on the perceptual capacity and mental state of the minor, and formulate his or her findings in a written report which shall form an integral part of the case file. Examination of the minor shall be carried out by the pre-trial investigation officers and the judicial officers through the child psychologist or child psychiatrist present. During the examination, the minor may be accompanied by his or her legal representative, unless the investigating judge, by reasoned decision, prohibits that person from being present for significant reasons, in particular in the event of a conflict of interest or the involvement of that person in the act under investigation.
  3. Counsel for the parties shall have the right to request that the examiner ask the minor questions which they have previously put in writing, unless, in the opinion of the child psychologist or psychiatrist, such questions are likely to affect the minor’s mental state.
  4. The statement of the minor shall be made in writing and shall also be recorded on an electronic audiovisual medium. Electronic viewing of the minor’s statement shall replace the physical presence of the minor at subsequent stages of the procedure.
  5. If it is not possible to view the minor’s testimony electronically, the written testimony of the minor shall be read out in the hearing. If the minor has reached the age of eighteen at the time of the hearing, he or she may appear in person if this is deemed absolutely necessary.
  6. Following the introduction of the case concerning acts under para. 1 in the hearing, the prosecutor or the parties may request the examination of the minor from the President of the court if he or she has not been examined at the ordinary investigation or needs to be further examined If the request is granted, the examination of the minor shall be conducted on the basis of clearly stated questions, without the parties being present, at the place where the minor is located, by an investigating officer appointed by the judge who ordered the examination. Par. 1 and 2 of this article are also applied in such cases. The questions shall be posed by the court after hearing the prosecutor and the parties present, and shall be put to the minor unless, in the opinion of the child psychologist or psychiatrist, they are likely to affect the mental state of the juvenile.
  7. The provision of Article 239 para. 2 shall apply mutatis mutandis also to child victims of the offences referred to in para, 1. of acts. In this case, the social history may also be taken by municipal or prefectorial social workers.


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