United Nations Committee against Torture Reviews Greece

11 March 2005

On November 26, 2004, the United Nations Committee against Torture (CAT) issued its Conclusions and Recommendations on Greece, following consideration of the State Party report during its 33rd session. In its Conclusions and Recommendations, the CAT expressed concern at "occurrences of ill-treatment of the Roma by public officials in situations of forced evictions or relocation. The fact that these may be carried out pursuant to judicial orders cannot serve as a justification for the numerous allegations reported by national and international bodies alike." The CAT recommended that the Greek government "ensure that all actions of public officials, in particular where the actions affect the Roma (such as evictions and relocations) or other marginalized groups, be conducted in a non-discriminatory fashion and that all officials be reminded that any racist or discriminatory attitudes will not be permitted or tolerated."

In the run-up to the Committee's review, six non-governmental organizations – the Centre for Research and Action on Peace (KEDE), Coordinated Organizations and Communities for Roma Human Rights in Greece (SOKADRE), Greek Helsinki Monitor (GHM), Minority Rights Group – Greece (MRG-G), Support Center for Children and Family-Social & Education Action, and the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT) – submitted reports highlighting several important issues. The ERRC provided the Committee with detailed information on the human rights situation of Roma in Greece, by forwarding to Committee members the joint ERRC/Greek Helsinki Monitor 2003 Country Report Cleaning Operations: Excluding Roma in Greece. The report is available on the ERRC website at: http://www.errc.org/cikk.php?cikk=115. Amongst the issues raised by the organizations were domestic violence, violence against children, violence against minorities, trafficking of human beings, impunity and violence against Roma. The full text of the Committee's Conclusions and Recommendations is available on the Internet at:

(ERRC, GHM)

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