The population included more than 10,000 persons of Arab, African, and East European origin. There were periodic reports in the media that owners of some bars and discos discouraged or prohibited darker-skinned persons, particularly of African or Arab origin, from entering their establishments. The government took no specific action to discourage these problems.

In March a man was discharged conditionally for two years (comparable to a suspended sentence) after being found guilty of inciting racial hatred for posting comments on a newspaper blog. In September the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination noted with concern the "discriminatory discourse and hate speech" of some Maltese politicians, as well as the "racial discourse" in certain media outlets.