United Nations


International Human Rights Instruments

Distr.: General

27 November 2018

Original: English

Common core document forming part of the reports of States parties

Greece *

[Date received: 1 May 2018]

I.General information about Greece

A.Demographic, economic, social and cultural characteristics of the State

1.Greece is a country with a very long history, since ancient times. The Hellenic civilization and its achievements in the fields of democratic politics, philosophy, science, culture and the arts have had a profound impact worldwide and have greatly contributed in shaping modern civilization.

2.Modern Greece’s political independence was proclaimed by the 1830 London Protocol, following the War of Independence against the Ottoman rule. The borders of the country have been determined through a series of international treaties and conventions, during the period 1830–1947.

3.After the Second World War, Greece became an active member of the new international system and was among the 51 founding members of the United Nations.

4.Following the collapse of a seven-year military dictatorship, democracy was restored in 1974. In the same year, by an overwhelming majority in a constitutional referendum, the Greek people chose the republican form of Government. A new Constitution was adopted in 1975 which, as successively amended, remains the Fundamental Law of the country.

5.Greece became a member of the (then) European Economic Community in 1.1.1981 and joined the Euro area on 1.1.2001.

6.A country of emigration since the end of World War II, Greece experienced a wave of regular and irregular immigration since the 1990s. The strong migratory pressure traditionally facing Greece due to its geographic position at the external border of the EU has evolved to a migration/refugee crisis in 2015. Greece has made tremendous efforts to rescue migrants and refugees in need and to receive them in a humane way in the frontline islands, with the aid and mobilization also of the local population. It is clear that a long-term comprehensive strategy is needed to deal with all aspects of a problem, which also has a European and a global dimension.

7.According to the latest statistical data of the Ministry for Migration Policy (February 2018), the number of third-country nationals legally residing in Greece amounts to 513,709 (according to the 2011 Population-Housing Census, the Resident Population of Greece was 10,816,286).

8.The only officially recognized minority in Greece is a religious minority, the Muslim minority in Thrace, whose status was established by the 1923 Treaty of Lausanne. The Muslim minority consists of three distinct groups whose members are of Turkish, Pomak and Roma origin, the Muslim faith being the common denominator of the aforementioned distinct components. Each of the groups has its own spoken language, cultural traditions and heritage, which are fully respected by the Greek state. Further to fully complying with the Lausanne Treaty, Greece’s policy and legislation reflect and implement contemporary human rights norms and standards. The Greek legislation provides for the optional application of the Sharia law in some family and inheritance law matters of the Muslim minority in Thrace. According to Law 4511/2018, adopted in January 2018, the abovementioned matters shall be subject to the jurisdiction of the Mufti only by way of exception. In any case, the relevant legislation provides that the courts shall not enforce decisions of the Muftis which are contrary to the Greek constitution.

9.According to the latest UNDP data (2016), Greece belongs to the very high human development category, positioned at 29 out of 188 countries and territories. However, it was severely affected by the global economic crisis. The policy frameworks aiming at responding to the crisis consisted to a large extent in the adoption of austerity measures, following negotiations with the institutions involved, the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund. The impact of the economic recession has been significant, resulting in social upheavals and threatening the disruption of the social fabric, as documented, in particular, by the National Commission for Human Rights. Greece is currently implementing an Agreement reached with the abovementioned institutions in August 2015 and is striving, while implementing the Agreement, to protect the rights of those in the most vulnerable situations. At the same time, it maintains that the sustainability of the Greek public debt is an issue critical to the course of the Greek economy and the promotion and respect of economic, social and cultural rights. During the last years, the Greek economy has moved to a state of economic recovery. The 2018 budget is the last one to be submitted under the current financial adjustment program.

B.Constitutional, political and legal structure of the State

10.According to Article 1 (1) of the Constitution, Greece is a “presidential parliamentary republic”. The basic principles of the Greek form of government are the following:

(a)The principle of popular sovereignty. According to Article 1 (3) of the Constitution, “All powers derive from the People and exist for the People and the Nation; they shall be exercised as specified by the Constitution”;

(b)The character of the form of government as a “parliamentary republic” (Article 1 (1) of the Constitution), a provision which is not subject to revision, according to article 110 (1) of the Constitution;

(c)The principle of representative, parliamentary democracy. Elements of direct democracy are contained in article 44 of the Constitution, which provides for the institution of referendum;

(d)The principle of the rule of law. The Constitution safeguards respect for a number of civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights (Articles 4–25) and protects human dignity (Article 2). It also proclaims the principle of separation of powers (Article 26), the obligation of the courts not to apply laws, the contents of which are contrary to the Constitution (Article 93 (4)), the judicial review of administrative acts (Article 95), the independence of the judiciary and the individuals’ right of access to the courts (Articles 20 (1), 26, 87–100);

(e)The principle of the welfare State. Article 25 (1) of the Constitution establishes, expressis verbis, the principle of the “welfare State under the rule of law”. The Constitution safeguards a series of social rights (see infra). It prohibits the abusive exercise of rights (Article 25 (3)) and provides that “The State has the right to claim of all citizens to fulfil the duty of social and national solidarity” (Article 25 (4)). It also provides for social restrictions to the exercise of civil rights, (Articles 17 (1), 106 (3)).

11.According to the Constitution, the legislative power is exercised by the Parliament and the President of the Republic (Article 26 (1)). The Parliament is entrusted with general legislative powers. The relevant powers of the President of the Republic are confined to promulgating and publishing the acts of the Parliament. The Parliament is unicameral and consists, according to the electoral law in force, of 300 members (deputies), elected for a term of four years through a direct and universal ballot (Article 51 (3) provides that the members of the Parliament cannot be below 200 or over 300).

12.The Greek electoral system could be described as a system of “reinforced proportionality”, a form of semi-proportional representation with a majority bonus: The party that wins a plurality of votes cast is awarded an extra 50 seats. Small parties on the other hand need to reach an electoral threshold of 3% in order to be represented in parliament. These provisions help the party or coalition that wins a relative majority to achieve an absolute majority (151 out of 300 parliamentary seats); this is intended to enhance governmental stability. The current electoral law was used for the first time in the May 2012 elections. It reserves 50 parliamentary seats for the party or coalition of parties that is supported by a plurality of votes cast. If the largest party or coalition has won at least 40.4% of the vote, these extra reserved seats will be sufficient to ensure majority in parliament. The remaining 250 seats are divided proportionally according to each party’s total valid vote percentage. Law 4406/2016, adopted in July 2016, abolished the abovementioned majority bonus, by virtue of a provision which will enter into force in the next-but-one elections, following the adoption of the Law. Moreover, the same low lowered the voting age to 17 years.

13.Although the Constitution allows, under certain conditions, the delegation of legislative power and the adoption of administrative regulatory acts, a formal law (i.e. a law adopted by Parliament) is required for the regulation of a number of issues including the exercise and protection of civil rights (Article 72 (1)).

14.Article 29 of the Constitution safeguards the right to freely found and join political parties, the organization and activity of which must serve the free functioning of democratic Government. According to the same Article, political parties are entitled to receive financial support by the State for their electoral and operating expenses, as specified by law. A statute shall specify the guarantees of transparency concerning electoral expenses.

15.The executive power is exercised jointly by the President of the Republic and the Government. The President of the Republic regulates the function of the institutions of the Republic (Article 30 of the Constitution). He /she is elected by the Parliament for a term of five years, but is not politically accountable to it or dependent upon its confidence. A qualified majority of two-thirds (in the first two stages) and three-fifths (in the third stage) of the Members of Parliament is required; if the required majority is not attained, Parliament is dissolved and the new Parliament shall elect the President of the Republic with a majority of three-fifths of the MPs or, if such majority is not attained, with the absolute or, ultimately, the relative majority of the MPs. The President of the Republic represents the State internationally. Through a procedure of exploratory mandates, which ensure respect for the principle of majority, he/she appoints the Prime Minister. In accordance with article 41 of the Constitution, the President of the Republic may and is bound to dissolve Parliament under special circumstances. This power is rigidly delineated so that the principle of popular sovereignty should not be abused. Under urgent and unforeseeable circumstances, the President of the Republic may, on the proposal of the Cabinet, issue acts of legislative content, subject to the subsequent approval of the Parliament (Article 44 (1)). He/she may also proclaim a referendum following a decision by the Parliament (Article 44(2)). He/she has the right to grant pardon and provide amnesty. No act of the President of the Republic shall be valid unless it has been countersigned by the competent minister.

16.The Constitution also introduces a system of decentralized State administration (Article 101) and safeguards the existence and operation of local government authorities of first and second level (Article 102). Under the “Kallikratis” programme on the “New Architecture for Self-Government and Decentralization”, in force since January 2011, the decentralized administration has been restructured and the number of municipalities has been reduced, while powers were transferred to the local level. Currently, there are 325 municipalities (first level local authorities) and 13 regions (second level local authorities). First and second level local authorities are elected by direct universal suffrage every five (5) years.

17.The judicial power is exercised by courts composed of regular judges who enjoy functional and personal independence. The courts are bound not to apply, in a specific case before them, a law, the contents of which are contrary to the Constitution; however, only legislative provisions declared unconstitutional by the Special Supreme Court (in case of conflicting judgments by the supreme courts on the constitutionality of the abovementioned provisions) shall be invalid as of the date of publication of the respective judgment, or as of the date specified by the ruling. Article 8 of the Constitution introduces the principle of the “natural judge”, meaning that no person shall be deprived of the judge assigned to him or her by law against his or her will, and prohibits the constitution and setting up of judicial committees and extraordinary courts.

18.The Constitution establishes civil, criminal and administrative courts.

19.First- and second instance civil courts are the district civil courts, the courts of first instance (one-member courts and courts with several judges) and the courts of appeal.

20.First- and second instance criminal courts are the district criminal courts, the magistrates’ courts (one-member and three-member), the courts of appeal (three-member and five-member), the mixed jury courts and the mixed jury courts of appeal and the juvenile courts.

21.First- and second instance administrative courts are the administrative courts of first instance (one- and three-member) and the administrative courts of appeal.

22.The three Supreme Courts are the Supreme Civil and Criminal Court (Areios Pagos), which delivers judgements on appeals on points of law, both in civil and criminal cases; the Council of State, which is the Supreme Administrative Court and decides on administrative law disputes, and the Court of Auditors, which is responsible for the audit of the expenditures of the State, local government agencies and other legal entities and exercises jurisdiction on pension cases. The jurisdiction of the Special Supreme Court, composed of judges from the three Supreme Courts and, in some specific categories of cases, law professors, includes review of parliamentary elections and referenda; review of the substantive constitutionality or interpretation of provisions of “formal laws” (acts of Parliament) in case of disagreement between the three Supreme Courts; and the resolution of disputes concerning the qualification of a rule of international law as “a generally accepted” one.

23.Apart from the three Supreme Courts and the Special Supreme Court, the Constitution also provides for a special court ruling on suits for faulty wrongful judgment and on disputes concerning all kinds of remuneration and pensions of magistrates (Article 99 & 88 (2)), as well as for a special court to hear charges against ministers or against the President of the Republic (Article 86 & 49 (3)).

24.Courts martial, naval courts and air force courts are competent for crimes committed by military personnel, save for those which, in accordance with the provisions of the Military Penal Code or special laws, are subject to the jurisdiction of ordinary criminal courts. Pursuant to Article 96 (4)), of the Constitution, military courts shall have no jurisdiction over civilians. Military judges enjoy functional and personal independence.

25.There is no specific legislation regulating NGOs, which may choose one of the forms of legal personality provided for in the Civil Code (such as association, foundation, civil (non-commercial) company) or operate as a union of persons. It is to be noted that the registration of an association falls within the competence of the courts, with no involvement on the part of the administrative authorities. In this respect, the courts’ scrutiny is limited to ascertaining whether or not the legal requirements for the registration of an association have been fulfilled.

II.General framework for the protection and promotion of human rights

A.Acceptance of international human rights norms (Appendix 2 of Harmonized Guidelines)

26.Greece has ratified all major human rights treaties in the framework of the United Nations (see Appendix 2 of the Guidelines on the form and content of the core document), namely:

1.Main international human rights conventions and protocols

•International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR, Law 1532/1985);

•International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR, Law 2462/1997);

•Optional Protocol to the ICCPR, concerning individual communications (Law 2462/1997);

•Second Optional Protocol to ICCPR, concerning abolition of the death penalty (Law 2462/1997);

•International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (ICERD, legislative decree 494/1970);

•Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW, Law 1342/1983);

•Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women concerning individual complaints and inquiry procedures (Law 2952/2001);

•Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CAT, Law 1782/1988);

•Optional Protocol to CAT, concerning regular visits by national and international institutions (Law 4228/2014);

•Convention on the Rights of the Child (Law 2101/1992);

•Optional Protocol to the CRC on the involvement of children in armed conflict (Law 3080/2002);

•Optional Protocol to the CRC on the sale of children, child prostitution, and child pornography (Law 3625/2007);

•Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (Law 4074/2012);

•Optional protocol to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (Law 4074/2012);

•Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance (Law 428/2014).

27.With regard to the different individual communications procedures, Greece has ratified the Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women and the Optional protocol to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, and has accepted the individual communications procedure under Art. 22 of the Convention against Torture.

2.Other United Nations human rights and related conventions

•Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, (legislative decree 3091/1954);

•Slavery Convention, 1923 as amended in 1955 (legislative decree 2965/1954);

•Convention relating to the Status of Refugees, 1951, (legislative decree 3989/1959) and its 1967 Protocol (emergency law 389/1968);

•Convention relating to the Status of Stateless Persons, 1954 (law 139/1975);

•Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (law 3003/2202);

•United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime, 2000, and its Protocols against the smuggling of migrants by land, sea and air, and to prevent, suppress and punish trafficking in persons, especially women and children (law 3875/2010).

3.Conventions of the International Labour Organizations

28.Greece has ratified the eight “Fundamental Conventions” and three out of four “Governance Conventions”, including the Tripartite Consultation (International Labour Standards) Convention 1976 (No. 144), Law 1176/1981 (ratification of ILO Convention no. 129 is still pending). In addition, Greece has ratified 60 ILO Conventions, out of which 51 are still applicable.

29.Among the ILO Conventions mentioned in Appendix 2 C of the Guidelines, Greece has ratified the following:

•Weekly Rest (Industry) Convention, 1921 (No. 14);

•Forced or Compulsory Labour Convention, 1930 (No. 29), law 2079/195;

•Labour Inspection Convention, 1947 (No. 81), law 3249/1955;

•Freedom of Association and Protection of the Right to Organise Convention, 1948 (No. 87), legislative decree 4204/1961;

•Right to Organize and Collective Bargaining Convention, 1949 (No. 98), legislative decree 4205/1961;

•Equal Remuneration Convention 1951 (No. 100), law 46/1975;

•Social Security (Minimum Standards) Convention, 1952 (No. 102), law 3251/1955;

•Abolition of Forced Labour Convention, 1957 (No. 105), legislative decree 4221/1961;

•Weekly Rest (Commerce and Offices) Convention, 1957 (No. 106), law 1174/1981;

•Discrimination (Employment and Occupation) Convention, 1958 (No. 111), law 1424/1984;

•Employment Policy Convention, 1964 (No. 122), law 1423/1984;

•Minimum Age Convention, 1973 (No. 138), Law 1182/1981;

•Labour Relations (Public Service) Convention, 1978 (No. 151), Law 2405/1996;

•Equal Opportunities and Equal Treatment for Men and Women Workers: Workers with Family Responsibilities Convention, 1981 (No. 156), Law 1576/1985;

•Worst Forms of Child Labour Convention, 1999 (No. 182), Law 2918/2001.

4.Conventions of the Hague Conference on Private International Law

•Convention on the Law Applicable to Maintenance Obligations, 1973;

•Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Decisions relating to Maintenance Obligations, 1973;

•Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction, 1980;

•Convention on Protection of Children and Co‑operation in respect of Intercountry Adoption, 1993;

•Convention on Jurisdiction, Applicable Law, Recognition, Enforcement and Co‑operation in respect of Parental Responsibility and Measures for the Protection of Children, 1996

5.Geneva Conventions and other treaties on international humanitarian law

•Geneva Convention (I) for the Amelioration of the Condition of the Wounded and Sick in Armed Forces in the Field, 1949 (Law 3481/1956);

•Geneva Convention (II) for the Amelioration of the Condition of Wounded, Sick and Shipwrecked Members of Armed Forces at Sea, 1949 (Law 3481/1956);

•Geneva Convention (III) relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War, 1949 (Law 3481/195);

•Geneva Convention (IV) relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, 1949, (Law 3481/1956);

•Protocol Additional to the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949, and relating to the Protection of Victims of International Armed Conflicts (Protocol I), 1977 (Law 1786/1198);

•Protocol Additional to the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949, and relating to the Protection of Victims of Non‑International Armed Conflicts (Protocol II), 1977 (Law 2105/1992);

•Ottawa Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Anti‑Personnel Mines and On Their Destruction, 1987 (Law 2999/2002).

30.In the framework of the Council of Europe, Greece has ratified a series of important treaties:

•European Convention on Human Rights and its Protocols Nos. 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 7, 8, 11, 13, 14;

•European Social Charter (Law 1426/1984);

•Additional Protocol to the European Social Charter (Law 2595/1998);

•Protocol amending the European Social Charter (Law 2422/1996);

•Additional Protocol to the European Social Charter providing for a system of collective complaints (Law 2595/1998);

•European Social Charter (revised) (Law 4359/2016);

•European Convention for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (Law 1949/1991);

•Convention for the Protection of Individuals with Regard to Automatic Processing of Personal Data (Law 2068/1992);

•Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Dignity of the Human Being with regard to the application of Biology and Medicine: Convention on Human Rights and Biomedicine (Law 2619/1998);

•Additional Protocol to the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Dignity of the Human Being with regard to the Application of Biology and Medicine on the Prohibition of Cloning Human Beings (ministerial decision 4898/21.10.1998);

•European Convention on the Exercise of Children’s Rights (Law 2502/1997);

•Convention on the Protection of Children against Sexual Exploitation and Sexual Abuse (Law 3727/2008);

•Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings (Law 4216/2013).

31.In addition, as a member of the European Union, Greece is legally bound by the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights and fully applies the acquis communautaire in the field of human rights.

32.Finally, Greece fully respects participating States’ commitments under the “Human Dimension” of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE).

D.Legal framework for the protection of human rights at the national level

1.Human rights enshrined in the Constitution

33.The Greek Constitution contains a comprehensive set of civil and political, economic, social and cultural rights and freedoms, covering in practice all human rights incorporated in international human rights treaties.

34.More specifically, the civil and political rights enshrined in the Constitution are the following:

•equality before the law (Article 4(1));

•gender equality (Article 4(2)) and the adoption of special measures for promoting equality between men and women (Article 116 (2));

•equal eligibility for civil service posts (Article 4 (4));

•non-discriminatory but proportional contribution to public charges (Article 4 (5));

•equality in performing military obligations (Article 4 (6));

•performance of alternative service for conscientious objectors (interpretative clause under Article 4);

•the right of all persons to freely shape their personality and to participate in the social, economic and political life of the country (Article 5 (1));

•right to absolute protection of life, honour and freedom, irrespective of nationality, race or language, and of religious or political beliefs; prohibition of the extradition of aliens prosecuted for their action as freedom-fighters is prohibited (Article 5 (2));

•right to personal liberty (Article 5 (3));

•freedom of movement and residence (Article 5 (4));

•right to protection of health and of genetic identity, as well as the right to protection against biomedical interventions (Article 5 (5));

•right to information and to participation in the information society (Article 5A);

•right to personal safety (Article 6);

•prohibition of the retroactive force of criminal law (Article 7 (1));

•prohibition of torture (Article 7 (2));

•prohibition of general confiscation and of the death penalty, save in the cases prescribed by law for felonies which have been committed in time of war and are related to it (Article 7 (3));

•right to compensation for those who have been sentenced, held in pre-trial custody or who in any way were unjustly or illegally deprived of their liberty (Article 7 (4));

•right of a person to a judge assigned to him/her by law (Article 8);

•right to the inviolability of the residence and to private and family life (Article 9);

•right to the protection of personal information and data (Article 9A);

•right to file petitions in writing to public authorities and the latter’s subsequent obligation to a written and reasoned reply (Article 10);

•freedom of assembly (Article 11);

•freedom of association (Article 12);

•right to religious freedom (Article 13);

•freedom of expression and freedom of the press (Article 14), including the right of reply for persons who have been affected by an inaccurate publication or broadcast (para. 5);

•freedom of radio and television broadcasting (Article 15);

•freedom of art, science, research and education (Article 16);

• right to property (Article 17);

•right to secrecy of letters and all other forms of free correspondence or communication (Article 19) and the prohibition of using pieces of evidence which have been illegally obtained (Article 19 (3));

•right of every person to receive legal protection by the courts and to plead before them (Article 20);

35.Furthermore, the Constitution entrenches a series of social rights:

•protection of family, marriage, motherhood and childhood (Article 21 (1));

•protection of families with many children, disabled war and peace-time veterans, war victims, widows and orphans, as well as persons suffering from incurable bodily or mental ailments (Article 21 (2));

•right to health and adoption of special measures for the protection of youth, old age, disability and for the relief of the needy (Article 21 (3));

•right to housing (Article 21 (4));

•right of persons with disabilities to enjoy measures ensuring self-sufficiency, professional integration and their participation in the social, economic and political life of the country (Article 21 (6));

•right to work (Article 22);

•right to equal pay for work of equal value (Article 22 (1));

•right to freely negotiate to reach a collective labour agreement (Article 22 (2));

•right of civil servants and employees of local government agencies or other public law legal entities to conclude collective labour agreements (Article 22 (3));

•prohibition of any form of compulsory work (Article 22 (4));

•right to social security (Article 22 (5));

•freedom to establish trade unions and the right to strike (Article 23);

•right to protection of the environment (Article 24).

36.Moreover, Article 25 of the Constitution explicitly introduces the principle of the social welfare State, the principle of individual rights governing not only the relationship between the State and individuals but also that among the individuals themselves as well as the principle of proportionality with respect to the restrictions in the exercise of fundamental rights.

Restrictions on the exercise of human rights

37.Restrictions on the exercise of human rights are permitted only if (a) are specified by law, (b) serve the public interest and (c) respect the principle of proportionality.

38.The principle of proportionality has expressly been enshrined in Article 25 (1) of the Constitution. In no case restrictions to the exercise of constitutional rights may affect their essence or core.

39.Furthermore, Article 25 (3) of the Constitution prohibits the abusive exercise of individual rights; the meaning of abuse is restricted to those cases where the right is exercised for a purpose manifestly different from that for which it has been enacted.

40.Suspension of individual liberties is provided for only under the strict requirements prescribed by Article 48 of the Constitution (in case of war or mobilization owing to external dangers or an imminent threat against national security, as well as in case of an armed coup aiming to overthrow the democratic regime). It should be noted that the Greek Constitution does not allow suspension of any of the rights from which derogation, pursuant to Article 4 (2) of the International Covenant for Civil and Political Rights, is not permitted.

2.Integration of human rights instruments into the national legal order

41.According to Article 28 (1) of the Constitution, “The generally accepted rules of international law, as well as international treaties, as from their approval by law and from their entering into force according to each one’s own terms shall constitute an integral part of Greek domestic law and shall prevail over any contrary provision of law. The rules of international law and international treaties shall be applied to aliens always on the condition of reciprocity.”

42.International human rights treaties are subject to ratification by the Parliament, pursuant to Article 36 (2) of the Constitution.

43.International treaties prevail over any contrary legislative provision. Courts are bound not to apply, in a specific case pending before them, a domestic law found to be contrary to an international treaty, including human rights treaties.

44.As of their incorporation into the Greek legal order, international treaties can be invoked directly before the courts, as well as before administrative authorities, insofar as they possess a self‑executing character. Greek courts base their judgments all the more frequently on the provisions of international human rights treaties. There are numerous domestic courts’ judgments applying, in particular, the European Convention on Human Rights, the ICCPR and other human rights treaties. It is expected that such trend will continue in the future, as the legal community, including judges and lawyers, are getting even more familiarized with international human rights treaties and the work of their monitoring bodies. Due attention is also given to the case-law of the international judicial bodies, as well as the Concluding Observations, relevant Views and General Comments of UN treaty bodies or the work undertaken by other international or regional monitoring mechanisms. The National Human Rights Commission and the Greek Ombudsman, in particular, systematically refer to, and are guided by, international and regional human rights treaties in their reports and recommendations. Furthermore, national human rights action plans specifically address the recommendations adopted by treaty bodies following the consideration of Greece’s periodic reports.

45.Furthermore, Article 28 (1) of the Constitution defines reciprocity as a requirement for the supra-legislative force of all the aforementioned rules. However, the rule of reciprocity is not applied as regards human rights issues.

46.In conclusion, the implementation of the international conventions for the protection of human rights is taking place in a particularly positive environment, to the extent that the Greek legal order acknowledges the principles of their supra-legislative force and of the direct implementation and invocation of their provisions, imposing at the same time the obligation of all courts not to apply a law the content of which runs contrary to international treaties.

3.Remedies in case of allegations of human rights violations

47.Article 20 of the Constitution safeguards the fundamental procedural right of every person to have recourse to the courts and receive legal protection by them. Courts are composed of regular judges, enjoying functional and personal independence (Article 87 of the Constitution).

48.As already mentioned, Courts have the right, but also the obligation, to review, in cases pending before them, the constitutionality and/or conformity with international treaties ratified by Greece, of laws and administrative acts. Regulatory and individual administrative acts may be annulled by the administrative courts, inter alia for breach of law (Article 95). The violation of the Constitution or international treaties ratified by Greece constitutes such a “breach of law”. Thus, any remedy provided for in Greek law is, at the same time, a remedy against alleged violations of human rights and fundamental freedoms enshrined in the Constitution and/or human rights treaties.

Legal remedies sought before civil courts

49.The legal remedy to be filed before first instance civil courts in private law disputes is the “action”, as defined in the Code of Civil Procedure.

50.In most cases (with the exception of those considered as “small claims”), an appeal may be filed before the appellate courts, on both substantive and procedural matters.

51.The legal remedy of cassation before the Supreme Civil and Criminal Court (Areios Pagos) is also provided for. In such cases, the abovementioned Court does not review the facts of the case, but only the legal correctness of decisions issued by courts of first and second instance.

Legal remedies brought before the criminal courts

52.The most important remedy provided by the law against first instance judgements is the appeal. Appeals may be lodged against decisions of first instance courts, either by the defendant or by the civil claimant or by the public prosecutor, with a view to the annulment of the judgement or the reduction of the sentence. In any case, however, the decision on the appeal may not result, in principle, in a reformatio in peius for the defendant. However and according to the Code of Criminal Procedure, it is not forbidden to impose a supplemental penalty, which was not imposed by mistake, although it should have been imposed under the law. Most first instance decisions are subject to the remedy of appeal. Certain decisions taken by the Judicial Councils at the pre-trial stage may also be appealed against.

53.Appeals on cassation before the Supreme Civil and Criminal Court may be lodged by the defendant or the prosecutor against decisions reached both by judicial councils or criminal courts at first and second instance.

54.It is to be noted that in all appeals procedures, a violation of relevant provisions of human rights treaties ratified by Greece may be invoked before the competent court.

Legal remedies before administrative courts

55.Applications for annulment of enforceable acts of the administrative authorities for excess of power are heard in principle by the Council of State (Supreme Administrative Court) which decides in first and last instance. In the abovementioned cases, all persons have the right to directly access the Supreme Administrative Court. Certain categories of applications for annulment fall under the jurisdiction of administrative courts.

56.The ordinary administrative courts have the original competence to decide cases by exercising full jurisdiction (i.e. not limited to the control of the legality of the impugned act); their judgments may be appealed before the Council of State. In certain categories of cases the Council of State has also the competence to decide cases by exercising full jurisdiction.

Systems of compensation and rehabilitation

57.Articles 104–106 of the Introductory Law of the Greek Civil Code contain provisions on State responsibility for wrongful acts of State organs. Two systems of responsibility apply:

58.(a)Articles 105 and 106 of the Introductory Law of the Greek Civil Code establish the objective State liability, under which the element of fault – intention or negligence – on the part of the State organ is not required for the establishment of State responsibility. State responsibility is triggered in case the following prerequisites are all met:

•Material or moral damage or loss is suffered by individuals;

•The illegal acts or omissions are committed by State organs or officials in the exercise of their official duties;

•Such illegal acts constitute a violation of rules of domestic law (including the Constitution, international treaties ratified by Greece, formal laws and administrative acts). However, the State bears no responsibility if the violated provision serves predominantly the public interest. Activities or omissions of the executive, administrative, and even legislative and judicial organs can give rise to State liability when they are performed in violation of human rights rules;

•Causal link between the acts or omissions and the damages caused.

59.Alleged victims of such illegal acts can bring an action for compensation against the State itself before administrative courts. The liable State organ or official can be sued exclusively by the State in cases of intention or serious negligence, according to the Greek Civil Servants’ Code (Law 2683/1999, art. 38).

60.(b)The Greek Civil Code establishes the general principle of liability for fault (article 104 of the Introductory Law to the Civil Code) in the case the State is acting as fiscus.

61.Article 94 (4) of the Constitution explicitly prescribes that judgements are subject to compulsory enforcement also against the public sector, local government agencies and public law legal persons, as specified by law.

62.Under Law 3068/2002, persons alleging a delay, an omission, a refusal of compliance or defective compliance of the public administration with a judgment rendered against the State may seize three-member Judicial Councils forming part of the Special Supreme Court, the Council of State, the Supreme Civil and Criminal Court, the Court of Auditors, the Administrative Courts and the other special courts. In case unjustified non-compliance has been established, the abovementioned Councils call the responsible authority to comply within a reasonable time. In case failure to comply persists, the Judicial Councils impose a pecuniary sanction, to be paid to the aggrieved person.

63.In the same vein, Article 95 (5) of the Constitution provides that the public administration is bound to comply with judicial decisions and that a breach of such obligation shall render liable the responsible agent.

64.It is to be noted that article 198 of the Code of Administrative Procedure (Law 2717/1999) stipulates that administrative authorities shall be bound to conform, by positive acts or by abstention from every contrary action, to judgements which are issued with respect to disputes brought before administrative courts. Failure by the administrative authority to comply as stated above shall have as a consequence prosecution of the responsible person for dereliction of duty and personal liability for damages.

65.It should be stressed that human rights abuses through illegal acts of other individuals generate the obligation of compensation, according to articles 914 and 932 of the Civil Code (CC). Individuals who have suffered an offence to their personality according to article 57, CC, can seek compensation, as long as the prerequisites laid out in article 914 CC are met. Furthermore, special laws are adopted in order to specify the regime of civil liability for illegal acts of individuals. Among others, Law 1178/1981 (as amended by Law 4356/2015) regarding “civil liability for acts related to the press” provides for compensation for persons whose honour or dignity has been offended by the press or, by virtue of Law 2328/1995, by radio and television programmes.

66.In addition to the above rules on State liability, the issue of compensation is regulated by the general provisions of the Greek Constitution concerning the protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms. There is an explicit and direct reference to the right to compensation in the following cases:

•State officials who violate the right to respect private life and residence are held personally liable for abuse of power and must pay full compensation (Article 9 (2));

•Failure to release the arrested persons, whenever the time limits of Article 6 (2) “elapse before action has been taken”, entails the State organs’ liability for illegal detention, when damage is suffered (Article 6(3));

•Further legislation shall provide for the regime of compensation owed by the State to individuals deprived of their personal freedom (Article 7 (4)). The Code of Criminal Procedure (CCP) describes the abovementioned regime in cases of illegal or unfair conviction or detention (Articles 533–545). The relevant provisions were amended by Article 26 of Law 2915/2001, so as to be in conformity with the case law of the European Court of Human Rights.

67.Other express provisions on compensation can also be found in the Greek Penal Code: for instance, 137D confers such right upon individuals who have been subjected to torture or other cruel and inhuman treatment affecting their dignity by State officials who are responsible for their prosecution, examination or detention.

68.The aggrieved party, as well as the party who sustained an immediate damage from the commission of the indictable act, may file a civil suit for damages and restitution of the damage caused by the crime. The criminal court shall be bound to rule on the civil action and if it finds it to be founded, shall award the requested sum either wholly or in part. The criminal court may also remit the civil claims for material damages to the civil courts. Article 69 of the Penal Code provides that, if a pecuniary penalty or fine has been imposed concurrently with restitution of damages to the victim, and the offender’s property is insufficient to satisfy both obligations, restitution shall be preferred.

69.In civil law cases, victims with a low income may request “free legal aid”. In such a case, the person concerned is exempted of all fees and expenses and if needed, a lawyer or a notary is appointed to represent him, who will receive payment by the State. Any other legal information needed, will be available to the person concerned by the competent members of the authorities (e.g Judges).

70.Persons with low income may request free legal aid. Victims of certain crimes (domestic violence, slavery, trafficking in human beings, kidnapping and other serious crimes, children victims of rape, sexual exploitation, etc.) are provided with free legal aid irrespective of their income. In such a case, a lawyer is appointed to the person concerned, who will represent them and will receive payment by the State. Any other legal information needed, will be available to the person concerned by the competent authorities (e.g Prosecutors). Likewise, victims of torture and other violations of human dignity, discrimination, crimes against life, freedom, sexual dignity, sexual exploitation, etc. with a low income have the right to a counsel appointed by the state for filing a criminal complaint and participating in the criminal proceedings against the perpetrators. Detainees with low income may request free legal aid as well.

71.Law 4478/2017 incorporated Directive 2012/29/EU, establishing minimum standards on the rights, support and protection of victims of crime (among which, hate crimes). Third-country nationals who are victims or material witnesses of racist acts may be granted a residence permit on humanitarian grounds until a judgment has been delivered or the case has been closed (ar. 19 A, law 4251/2014 as amended by law 4332/2015). Moreover, with the amendment (by Law 4332/2015) of the article 41 of Law 3907/2011, the return and consequently the detention, of a foreigner, if he or she is a victim or a substantial witness of criminal acts of 81A of the Criminal Code and of articles 1 and 2 of Law 927/1979 and submits a complaint or report of the incident to the competent police authorities, is prohibited, until the competent prosecutor has issued an act (designating the foreigner as a victim).

72.According to the provisions of Law 3811/2009, victims may also seek compensation from the Greek Authority on compensation of victims of crimes of violence with intent or of crimes under articles 323 (slave trade), 323A (trafficking in human beings), 323 B (sexual tourism), 336 (rape) when committed against minors, 339 (seduction of children) par. 1&4, 342 (abuse of minors) par. 1 &2, 348A (pornography of minors), 348 B (intentionally approach of children for sexual reasons) 348 C (access to child pornographic material), 349 (pandering), 351 (trafficking in human beings for sexual exploitation), 351A (sexual abuse of minor for payment). More specifically, an authority is established under the name ‘Greek Compensation Authority’, which functions within the Ministry of Justice, Transparency and Human Rights and decides, in accordance with the provisions of Article 3 of law 3811/2009, on the applications for compensation of the abovementioned victims, provided that the crimes have been committed in the territory of Greece, and the victims have their residence or habitual residence in Greece or in the territory of another Member State of the European Union.

73.Furthermore, victims of all crimes prosecuted ex officio, all beneficiaries of free legal aid, as well as victims of sexual exploitation, trafficking, domestic violence and hate speech, as criminalized by the law, are exempted from the obligation to pay a fee for the initiation of criminal proceedings. In addition, according to article 51 (3) of Law 4251/2014, the competent prosecution, judicial and police authorities shall, in accordance with the relevant provisions, give priority to victims of trafficking during the reflection period, with regard to their protection and safety, the provision of translation and interpretation services, in case they have no knowledge of the Greek language, their information regarding their rights and the services provided, as well as the provision of all necessary legal assistance.

74.The Code of Criminal Procedure also provides for the extraordinary legal remedy of the reopening of a case, where a judgment of the European Court of Human Rights has found a breach of the right to a fair trial or of any other substantive provision of the European Convention on Human Rights (Law 2865/2000). The same applies to procedures before the Council of State (Article 16 of Law 4446/2016), as well to civil law cases of non-contentious judicial procedures (Articles 29–30 of Law 4491/2017).

75.Another form of rehabilitation available to the person whose human rights have been violated is the striking from the criminal record of sentences that were imposed by the criminal courts, after the decision on the reopening of the case has been issued.

76.Laws 4055/2012 and 4239/2014 introduce a legal remedy, allowing parties to seek “just satisfaction” owing to excessive length of judicial proceedings before administrative courts, as well as civil courts, criminals courts and the Court of Audit, respectively. In addition, in criminal cases, the competent court may reduce the sentence to compensate for the excessive length of proceedings, when the latter are not due to the fault of the accused person.

77.Finally, the European Convention on Human Rights contains a special provision on the award of “just satisfaction” to the injured party, in case of a violation of the Convention (art. 41). Law 1846/1989 refers to this obligation, as it provides that a special part of the State budget is reserved for the enforcement of the European Court’s judgements.

4.Institutions or national machinery with responsibility for overseeing the implementation of human rights

National Action Plans

78.The first National Action Plan on Human Rights, covering the period 2014–2016, has been adopted, under the coordination of the Ministry of Justice, Transparency and Human Rights. The Ministry, through its General Secretariat for Transparency and Human Rights, is currently examining ways and means of further developing an effective, inclusive and operational human rights planning mechanism, taking also into account the relevant recommendations of the NCHR and civil society organizations.

79.A National Action Plan on the Rights of the Child is being elaborated, under the coordination of the General Secretariat of Transparency and Human Rights, with the participation of all sectors of the Administration involved and the Children’s Ombudsman. The plan will be submitted to public consultation with civil society actors.

80.The National Council against Racism and Intolerance (see infra) is elaborating a National Action Plan against Racism and Intolerance.

81.In the field of women’s rights, the National Program for Substantive Gender Equality 2010–2013 was extended until the end of 2015. The drafting of a new National Action Plan on Gender Equality was completed at the end of 2016. Τhe Action Plan serves as the roadmap for the governmental policies on gender equality for the period until 2020. It covers the following policy areas: social cohesion, poverty, immigration and multiple discrimination, gender-based violence, labour market and reconciliation of family and professional life, education, training, culture, sports and media, health, decision-making.

82.In 2016, the Ministry of Justice maintained close co-operation with the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and All Forms of Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT) in order to exchange know-how and strengthen the Ministry’s work on integration and implementation of the strategic planning of the correctional policy.

83.In 2011, Greece launched the National Strategic Framework for Roma, aiming at combating discrimination and social exclusion of the Roma by adopting or further developing a comprehensive approach to Roma integration in the areas of access to education, employment, health care and housing. Based upon the abovementioned Framework, relevant Regional Strategies have been adopted in the Regions of Greece.

5.Institutions and national machinery in the field of human rights

State bodies

84.The General Secretariat for Transparency and Human Rights of the Ministry of Justice, Transparency and Human Rights was established by virtue of Presidential Decree 94/2010. The General Secretariat is responsible, among others, for the consolidation and promotion of human rights and fundamental freedoms, by undertaking all necessary related initiatives, including compliance with the international obligations of the country. Within this framework, the General Secretariat, inter alia, designs, elaborates and outlines policy priorities and lines of action to ensure the effective exercise of human rights and undertakes the relevant legislative, regulatory and administrative initiatives and monitors their implementation. Furthermore, it may consult with the National Commission for Human Rights and other national or international organizations on human rights issues.

85.The General Secretariat for Gender Equality (GSGE) of the Ministry of Interior is the competent governmental agency for designing and monitoring the implementation of policies for gender equality in all sectors. Established by virtue of article 27 of Law 1558/1985, the GSGE has been charged with promoting and realizing legal (de jure) and substantive (de facto) gender equality in all sectors of social, political and economic life. The GSGE includes services at the central level, as well as regional organs, such as Counseling Centers. The GSGE is elaborating, implementing and monitoring national action plans for gender equality in all fields of public policy.

86.In 2016, the administrative structure responsible for Roma issues was upgraded, through the establishment of the Special Secretariat for Roma within the Ministry of Labour, Social Security and Social Solidarity (Law 4430/2016).

87.The main duties of the Special Secretariat for the Social Integration of the Romani include among others:

•The determination of priorities and the design of guidelines on all policy areas related to the social integration of the Roma and the submission of relevant proposals to the Minister of Labour, Social Security and Social Solidarity;

•cooperation with other competent Ministries (Health, Education, Infrastructure, Justice etc.) and competent agencies at the national, regional and local level for the design and implementation of interventions on Roma issues, as well as the coordination and the cross-sectoral monitoring of such policies;

•data collection from the interventions for the social integration of the Roma and the mapping of the features of the Roma populations who live in camps and settlements outside the urban fabric;

•the monitoring and assessment of relevant policies, including the implementation of the National Strategic Framework for Roma and the preparation of the required reports;

•the designing of legislative and administrative measures for the advancement of the National Strategic Framework for Roma;

•the provision of guidance and technical support to the stakeholders involved for the designing and assessment of issues pertaining to the Roma population.

88.Moreover, the Special Secretariat has been designated as the new National Roma Contact Point. In this framework, it is currently drafting an operational plan for the implementation of the national and regional strategies that will be implemented during the period 2017–2021 based on the mapping of the Roma settlements and the subsequent typological classification.

89.Under Law 4198/2013 (which transposed EU Directive 2011/36), the Office of the National Rapporteur (NRO) on combating trafficking in human beings was established within the Minister of Foreign Affairs. The NRO has the mandate to cooperate closely with focal points in other competent Ministries as well as with the IOM and the accredited by the European Commission’s Civil Society Platform NGOs in the field of anti-trafficking. The NRO is active in all four pillars of the strategy to combat trafficking (prevention, protection, prosecution and partnership with civil society and private sector). Complying with the national and international legislation, Greece has already put in place a formal national identification and referral system for victims and presumed victims of trafficking (Ministerial Decision 3003/20.9.2016). The Mechanism, supervised by the Office of the National Rapporteur on Combatting Human Trafficking (NRO), operates as a hub for coordinated action and partnership building, among all actors involved in combating human trafficking (state agencies, International Organizations, NGOs). It subscribes to a more inclusive identification regime that brings-in additional professionals and stakeholders into the screening and identification process of mixed migration/refugee flows (migration services, labor inspectors, health providers, local administration authorities). Furthermore, the Permanent Consultation Forum with civil society aims at improving cooperation among different stakeholders and better coordination of the available services offered by them. To address demand for labor trafficking, the NRO cooperates with the Labor Inspectorate for the implementation of trainings to labor inspectors. In addition, the General Secretariat for Gender Equality, in cooperation with the NRO has set up a Committee of Experts against Commercial Sexual Exploitation to review the existing legal framework on prostitution and advocate against sexual exploitation and demand for commercial sex acts.

90.The National Council against Racism and Intolerance was established by Law 4356/2015 and is chaired by the Secretary General for Transparency and Human Rights of the Ministry of Justice, Transparency and Human Rights. The Council has been entrusted with the mandate, in particular, to design policies aiming at preventing and combating racism and intolerance, to monitor the implementation of the anti-racism legislation and its conformity with international and European Law, to promote and coordinate the relevant activities of different stakeholders and to strengthen cooperation with civil society actors. Members of the Council are, inter alia, representatives of competent Ministries, the National Commission for Human Rights, the Racist Violence Recording Network” (RVRN), in which participate 38 NGOs and other bodies, having as a primary goal the documentation of racist incidents, the UNHCR, etc.; the Greek Ombudsman also participates in the work of the Council. The drafting of a National Action Plan against Racism and Intolerance is also among the tasks of the Council.

91.In accordance with article 31 of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, the State Minister responsible for the cohesion of the Government’s work has been designated, by Law 4488/2017, as the coordination mechanism within government to facilitate related action in different sectors and at different levels; the General Secretariat for Transparency and Human Rights of the Ministry of Justice, Transparency and Human Rights has been designated as the central focal point for matters relating to the implementation of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with disabilities; the law also provides for the designation of focal points within each Ministry. Finally, the Greek Ombudsman has been designated as the national framework for the promotion of the implementation of the abovementioned Convention, in cooperation with the National Confederation of Persons with Disabilities, an independent civil society organization.

92.A law adopted in November 2016 established the “National Monitoring Mechanism for the Implementation of judgements of the European Court of Human Rights”, in which participate representatives of the Ministry of Justice, Transparency and Human Rights (Secretary General for Human Rights), the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Legal Council of State (Greece’s Agent to the ECtHR).

The National Commission for Human Rights

93.The National Commission for Human Rights (NCHR) is the independent advisory body to the Greek State on matters pertaining to human rights protection. It was established by Law 2667/1998 in accordance with the UN Paris Principles and has been operating since January 2000, enjoying Status A accreditation. Its members are nominated by independent authorities, NGOs, universities, bar associations, the Parliament, political parties, trade unions, and the Administration (without the right to vote).

94.The mission of the NCHR is to constantly monitor human rights protection and promotion and to formulate relevant policy proposals, to inform the public and to advance research on such issues, and to cooperate with international organizations active in the field of human rights, as well as other NHRIs. More specifically, the NCHR: takes up issues in connection with the protection of human rights, on its own initiative or upon proposal of the Government, the Conference of Presidents of Parliament or NGOs; submits recommendations, opinions and proposals, including on legislative, administrative and other measures which contribute to the improvement of the protection of human rights and carries out relevant studies; develops initiatives on the sensitization of public opinion and the mass media on matters related to respect for human rights; undertakes initiatives for the promotion of respect for human rights within the framework of the educational system; delivers an opinion on reports which the country is to submit to international organizations on human rights issues; maintains constant communication and works together with international organizations, similar organs of other countries, and national or international non-governmental organizations; makes its positions known publicly by every appropriate means; draws up an annual report on the protection of human rights; organizes a Documentation Centre on human rights; examines the adaptation of Greek legislation to the provisions of international law on the protection of human rights and delivers an opinion in this connection to the competent organs of the State. It is to be noted that recent legislative amendments have further strengthened the Commission in the discharge of its mandate, including with regard to state financing of its operation.

95.During the last years, the NCHR has been very active in discharging its tasks. The Commission has adopted a number of recommendations on the impact of the economic crisis on the enjoyment of all human rights, focusing both on the national and the European dimensions of the crisis. It has paid particular attention to the fight against racism and adopted a number of in-depth reports. In this context, the National Commission, in cooperation with the Office of the UNHCR in Greece, NGOs and other bodies created, in 2011, the “Racist Violence Recording Network” for the documentation of racist incidents. Furthermore, the NCHR has also considered issues such as the situation of the Roma, gender equality, domestic violence and violence against women, accountability of the police personnel, the fight against trafficking, conditions of detention of irregular migrants, the rights of refugees and asylum seekers, the rights of the child, freedom of religion, human rights education, etc. Furthermore, the NCHR closely cooperates with UN Special Procedures, in particular in the context of visits to Greece by Special Procedures mandate holders, as well as with regional human rights bodies. Finally, the work and the recommendations of the NCHR are very often referred to in the reports of universal and regional human rights mechanisms and the decisions and judgments of quasi-judicial and judicial bodies. (NCHR reports have been referenced in more than 30 judgments of the European Court of Human Rights concerning Greece).

Independent authorities

96.Article 101A of the Constitution and more specialized provisions constitutionally guarantee the institution of independent authorities. The members of the independent authorities shall enjoy the guarantees of personal and functional independence; the selection of the said persons shall be effected by decision of the Conference of Parliamentary Chairpersons seeking unanimity, or in any case by the increased majority of four fifths of its members, as prescribed in article 101A (2) of the Constitution. The authorities which are explicitly mentioned in the Constitution are the following:

•the National Radio and Television Council, which supervises and regulates the broadcasting sector and is responsible, inter alia, for granting, renewing or revoking licenses for radio and TV services, exercising control on radio/TV companies, private or public ones, on whether they uphold the relevant legislation, ensuring political and cultural diversity in the mass media, supervising free competition in the media market, imposing fines and administrative measures and examining requests for remedies for personal insults caused by mass media;

•the Hellenic Data Protection Authority, tasked with the protection of the personal data and the privacy of individuals in Greece, and, more specifically, with the protection of citizens from the unlawful processing of their personal data and their assistance in case it is established that their rights have been violated in any sector. Furthermore, the HDPA offers support and guidance to controllers in their effort to comply with their obligations under the Law on the protection of personal data;

•the Independent Authority for the Protection of Secrecy of Correspondence and Telecommunications, which carries out scheduled and emergency auditing procedures, ex officio or upon complaint, of installations, equipment, archives, data bases and documents of the Hellenic National Intelligence Service, of other civil services, corporations and enterprises of the civil sector in general, as well as of private corporations that engage in postal, telecommunications, or other services concerning networking and communication;

•the Supreme Council for the Selection of Staff, which is responsible for securing the implementation of the provisions on public sector staff selection and recruitment in conditions of full transparency, publicity, objectivity and meritocracy.

The Greek Ombudsman

97.The Greek Ombudsman mediates between public administration and citizens in order to help the latter in exercising their rights effectively. In addition, the Greek Ombudsman’s mission is: to safeguard and promote children’s rights, to promote equal treatment and fight discrimination in the public sector based on race, ethnicity, religious or other conviction, disability, age or sexual orientation, to monitor and promote the application of equal opportunities and equal treatment of men and women in matters of employment, both in the public and the private sector, and access to goods and services of the public sector.

98.As a mediator, the Greek Ombudsman makes recommendations and proposals to the public administration but does not have the power to impose sanctions or annul illegal administrative acts.

99.The Office of the Ombudsman currently comprises the following Departments: human rights; social protection, health and welfare; quality of life; State-Citizen relations; children’s rights; gender equality.

100.Over the years, the Greek Ombudsman has assumed new responsibilities. Since 2005, the Ombudsman operates as one of the equal treatment bodies responsible for the implementation of the legislation on the application of the principle of equal treatment regardless of ethnic origin, religious or other convictions, disability, age or sexual orientation by public administration services. The responsibilities of the Ombudsman as an equality body have significantly been strengthened through the adoption of the new anti-discrimination Law in November 2016 and its designation as the body responsible for monitoring and promoting the implementation of the principle of equal treatment. Moreover, the Greek Ombudsman has been operating, since 2006, with enhanced powers, as the competent body for monitoring the implementation of the principle for equal treatment between men and women in employment and occupation, including (since 2012) with regard to self-employed women and men. Since 2011, it works as the body responsible for the external monitoring of return operations and pre-removal detention procedures of foreign citizens. In 2013, the Office of the Ombudsman was designated by the law ratifying the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture as the relevant “national prevention mechanism”. In 2016, the Greek Ombudsman was designated as the “National Mechanism for the investigation of incidents of ill-treatment committed by law enforcement and detention facility agents”, a mechanism additional to the judicial system and the internal (disciplinary) procedures of the respective authorities, with the responsibility to collect, record, evaluate, investigate or forward to the services responsible for exercising disciplinary control, complaints about acts of uniformed personnel of the Hellenic Police, the Hellenic Coast Guard, the Fire Service and detention facility agents. In 2017, the Greek Ombudsman was designated as the national framework for the promotion of the implementation of the UN Disabilities Convention.

101.While the Greek Ombudsman is competent for complaints involving public bodies, he/she may also examine acts of private citizens in cases of allegations of violation of children’s rights or unequal treatment of men and women in the field of employment. Furthermore, the anti-discrimination legislation recognizes the competence of the Ombudsman to examine complaints of discrimination on the grounds, inter alia, of racial or ethnic origin, religious or other beliefs related to the service status of civil servants (a field otherwise excluded from the remit of the Ombudsman).

102.In 2016, the Ombudsman received 11,915 new complaints. Although not binding, the Ombudsman’s recommendations are thoroughly examined and taken into consideration; there are many examples of recommendations and suggestions which have eventually been accepted by the Administration. In 2016, the percentage of successful mediation cases was more than 80%. Thus, the Greek Ombudsman enjoys wide trust and confidence on the part both of the public, as evidenced by the constant flow of complaints and the public authorities’ constructive response to the Ombudsman’s recommendations.

Other bodies — the National Bioethics Commission

103.The National Bioethics Commission, established by Law 2667/1998, is an independent advisory body of experts which is subject to the Prime Minister. Its mission is to explore the ethical, social and legal impact of the possible applications of biological sciences. More specifically, the Commission investigates the ethical, social and legal aspects that arise from scientific advances in biology, biotechnology, medicine and genetics; outlines, in collaboration with the respective Ministries, proposals of general policy and provides specific recommendations on related issues; collaborates with international organizations and related bodies and represents Greece to international forums; informs the public on issues related to biotechnological advances and the impact of their applications; and orients and coordinates related governmental advisory bodies in the field of bioethics. The Commission is composed of nine members, all academic personalities, appointed by the Prime Minister for a term of five years.

6.Regional human rights courts or other mechanisms

104.As a State party to the European Convention of Human Rights, Greece is subject to the jurisdiction of the European Court of Human Rights. It has recognized the right to individual application on 20 November 1985. During the period 1959–2016, the European Court of Human Rights has delivered 926 judgments on individual applications against Greece. The main subject-matters of the Court’s judgments on cases against Greece are the following: length of proceedings, right to an effective remedy, right to a fair trial, inhuman or degrading treatment, protection of property, right to liberty and security, freedom of thought, conscience and religion, freedom of expression, etc. The case-law of the European Court of Human Rights has had a profound impact on the domestic legal order. In keeping with its obligations under the Convention, Greece has adopted legislative, administrative and policy measures to implement the European Court’s judgements and to prevent similar violations of the ECHR. Moreover, Greek courts have harmonized their case-law with the jurisprudence of the European Court.

105.Under the Additional Protocol to the European Social Charter providing for a system of collective complaints, 18 collective complaints have been filed which concern a wide variety of labour, social security and other issues, in particular following the austerity measures adopted in the context of the financial crisis affecting the country.

106.Finally, it is to be recalled that Greece is subject to monitoring mechanisms within the framework of the Council of Europe, such as the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment of the relevant Convention, the European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI), etc.

E.Framework within which human rights are promoted at the national level

107.A Special Permanent Committee on Equality, Youth and Human Rights of the Greek Parliament has been established, which is responsible for the research and the elaboration of proposals regarding the promotion (in the family, education and other social structures) of the principle of gender equality. The committee monitors the safeguard and the implementation of this principle by the administration. The committee is also dealing with matters regarding the respect and protection of human rights. Furthermore, a Special Permanent Committee has been mandated to monitor the implementation of the judgments of the European Court of Human Rights. The Special Permanent Committee on the Correctional System is responsible to study, monitor and evaluate the state of the correctional system, as well as to make proposals to improve prisoners’ living conditions, to modernize the institutional framework and, in general, the strategic planning on correctional issues.

108.The Hellenic Parliament has set up a sub-committee on human trafficking under the Special Permanent Committee for Equality, Youth & Human Rights issues. The Committee is responsible for monitoring developments, legislative updates and the overall implementation of counter-THB policies and measures.

109.With regard to the country’s National Human Right Institution, see supra, paras. 93–95.

110.As already explained, to become legally binding for the Hellenic Republic, international human rights treaties must be ratified by law, adopted by Parliament. Hence, the abovementioned instruments are translated into Greek and published in the Official Gazette. They are widely disseminated to state authorities, different stakeholders and the general public, including through the human rights education and training activities discussed in this report.

1.Human Rights Awareness — Training Activities

Training of judges and prosecutors

111.As regards training of judges and prosecutors, the National School of Judges’ initial education curriculum for judges and prosecutors includes courses on human rights issues and specialized courses on racism and xenophobia issues and aliens’ law. Furthermore, the National School of Judges organizes or includes in the annual curriculum several seminars aimed at human rights education of judges on issues such as refugees’ and migrants’ rights, racism and hate crimes, minors, disabilities and discrimination.

112.Moreover an EU funded Programme with the title “Building a Comprehensive Criminal Justice Response to Hate Crime”, starting from February 2017 and with a duration of two years, will be implemented by ODIHR and the Hellenic Ministry of Justice, Transparency and Human Rights as a partner. The project consists, as regards the Greek party, of three activities: (1) a possible MoU with the National School of Judges for the implementation of the PAHCT (Prosecutors and Hate Crime Training Program), (2) improvement of the common database on hate crimes maintained by the Ministry of Justice and the Hellenic Police, (3) identification of the main elements of a national policy against hate crimes and drafting of a cross government protocol for preventing and combatting hate crimes and a sub-protocol on criminal justice system response to hate crimes.

113.The two abovementioned protocols, apart from awareness-raising, are expected to improve even more the implementation of anti-racist legislation and to result to effectively combat hate crimes in all aspects of public life.

114.Moreover, the first action of the above-mentioned project, which is to be decided and agreed between ODIHR and the National School of Judges (NSoJ), provides for (i) the adjustment of the ODIHR’s PAHCT to the national situation in Greece and the creation of a customized course, (ii) the training of Greek prosecutors as trainers and (iii) a commitment of the NSoJ to permanently integrate this customized course into its existing training structures using the trained trainers. The programme is intended to be applied at first place in the initial education curriculum and at second place as continuous training for in-service prosecutors.

115.Concerning training of lawyers, several bar associations have provided specialized seminars and events, some of them in cooperation with UN Refugees Agency, in order to inform and train their members on migration issues.

2.Activities of the National Council against Racism and Intolerance

116.One of the main tasks of the National Council against Racism and Intolerance (see above) is the development of policies on preventing and combatting racism and intolerance in order to protect persons and groups of persons targeted because of race, colour, national or ethnic origin, descent, social origin, religious or other beliefs, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity or gender characteristics and, in this framework, the elaboration of a comprehensive strategy against racism and discrimination. For the accomplishment of its tasks the Council may, among others, develop actions for the promotion of human rights through education. Therefore one of the three working groups, which the Council has formed, focuses on human rights and anti-racism education.

3.Trafficking in Human Beings

117.Training of professionals on first-level identification is an essential part of Greece’s anti-trafficking policy. The NRO is stepping up efforts to facilitate capacity-building activities through a strategic partnership with the State Institute of Training (National Center of Public Administration & Local Government) for the implementation of annual anti-trafficking seminars. More than 15 competent state agencies participate in the aforementioned and ongoing anti-trafficking training sessions (labor inspectors, medical personnel, local administration, school teachers, state mass media, border police, Asylum Service, Identification and Screening Service, customs offices, school teachers, judges, protection services).

118.At the same time, cooperation with leading international organizations (IOM, UNHCR and UNODC) is under way for carrying out a number of specialized trainings for law enforcement, prosecutors and front line professionals. Such training, co-organized by the UNODC (United Nations Office for Drugs and Organized Crime) and the NRO, took place recently (April 2017), in Athens and in Thessaloniki, with the participation of more than 80 professionals and NGOs field workers. A similar training took place in May 2017, at the International Airport of Athens, gathering the various stakeholders and professionals of the Airport responsible to identify and refer potential victims of THB.

119.In acknowledging THB as a social phenomenon and not just as a crime, anti-Trafficking policy in Greece has as a priority to combine dual emphasis both on the law enforcement imperative and on addressing the root cause of trafficking. In this aspect, Greece, through various initiatives of the NRO, is exploring to reduce ‘public Demand’ for services or products extracted from THB through Human Rights’ Education in schools; partnerships with the private sector for a consumer ethic of zero tolerance; and synergies with the cultural sector in a large scale awareness-raising campaign that focuses on the role of the client and the commodification of female dignity.

120.The public awareness Campaign “BREAK THE CHAIN-BtC”: “BtC” is an on-going awareness raising platform that brings in the private and the cultural sector into a strategic partnership with the anti-trafficking community in Greece. Part of the Campaign is the “Break the Chain Festival”, an international two-day multidisciplinary festival against Human Trafficking, aimed at addressing the general public that is not familiar with the realities of human trafficking, through a trans-media concept of events that combine culture and art with awareness raising and social activism. The Second Break the Chain Festival (BtC #2) took place on the occasion of the 10th EU Anti-Trafficking Day, in a popular Athens venue (Technopolis, 22–23.10.2016) and involved the participation of 40 stakeholders (state authorities, NGOs, IOs, CSR, universities and cultural sector) and 150 artists. The Festival attracted large audience of 6.000 visitors as well as a strong publicity from mass and social media. A major Conference, was organized at the margins of the Festival, addressing key issues such as: 1. Τhe challenges regarding the nexus between SOM and THB in mixed migration flows, 2. Τhe nexus between prostitution and THB, specifically the assessment of the existing legal framework and the comparison between the ‘Nordic’ and ‘sex worker’ paradigms on demand, 3. Unaccompanied minors with reference to low-level exploitation and forced criminality, 4. Private sector and CSR Vs THB with special reference to THB-free supply chains, 5. Human rights education in Schools and front line training of Civil Servants with a view to bring in more stakeholders in first level identification, and 6. The role of the media in portraying the THB phenomenon.

121.In addition, the Office of the National Rapporteur, in accordance with international standards and best practices, works towards engaging key private sector stakeholders for the promotion and establishment of “slavery-free” supply chains. In this framework, the NRO has signed a Memorandum of Cooperation with the Corporate Social Responsibility Hellas Network (CSR Hellas), aiming at raising awareness and organizing trainings among businesses consumers and employees.

122.Last but not least, the Office of the National Rapporteur, as a permanent member of National Council against Racism and Intolerance of the Ministry of Justice, aims at promoting human rights education at schools, in collaboration with the Ministry of Education. The main objective is to educate students at a young age about fundamental rights, sexual and reproductive health.

Training of the Hellenic Police personnel

123.The uniformed personnel of the Hellenic Police is trained and retrained at national level, in the Schools of the Police Academy, as well as, at international level, with relevant seminars on the topics of protection of human rights and tackling racist violence and discrimination phenomena.

124.At the level of basic training, the students of the Schools of the Police Academy are taught the thematic unit “Human Rights”, as an independent field of study, in the context of the subjects “Constitutional Law-Human Rights” and “Elements of Constitutional Law-Human Rights and elements of Administrative Law” from well-known University professors and specialized scientific personnel. Moreover, lectures are conducted on topics such as: racism and xenophobia, migration in the 21st Century: political identities, integration models, borders and boundaries, sensitization on topics regarding drug addicts and HIV/AIDS, trafficking in human beings, fight against discrimination, rights of LGBTI individuals.

125.Furthermore, at the level of higher training, seminars, online seminars and lectures are conducted, in Greece as well as abroad, on topics regarding human rights, such as: fundamental rights and police ethics, management of diversity, hate crimes, racist violence in general, racist violence against members of the LGBT community, fight against discrimination with emphasis on issues affecting the Roma, refugee Law and legal protection of refugees in Greece, comprehensive management of external borders, racism, hate speech, etc.

Activities in the field of education

126.The Ministry of Education develops and participates in many educational programmes, through primary and secondary schools, aiming among others, at raising human rights awareness, preventing all kinds of discriminations and eliminating negative attitudes, school violence, prejudice and inequalities.

127.Some examples of programmes on Human Rights, Democracy and Active Citizenship for teachers of primary and secondary education, are: the “Act” Programme on active citizenship (E.U.), the Summer Academy on Education for democratic citizenship, Human Rights Education — EDC/HRE (Wergeland Center — CoE), national dissemination events on the values of the CoE in the context of the Pestalozzi Programme (CoE) for primary and secondary school teachers, etc.

128.Various events on the remembrance of the Holocaust are organized in all schools.

129.Other programmes of the European Union (e-twinning, Erasmus+), of the Council of Europe (see above), the UNESCO (Education for Peace and Human Rights), etc., in which participates the majority of primary and secondary schools of the country, focusing on human rights.

130.The Ministry of Education in cooperation with the Council of Europe and the ENIC/NARIC of Norway, the U.K. and Italy, in 2016 initiated an effort to create a “passport” for the recognition of refugees’ higher education qualifications, the so-called “Refugees’ Qualifications Passport”.

131.Finally, the Ministry of Education participates in short training on human rights for primary and secondary education teachers of the CoE (e.g. the Pestalozzi programme), etc.

132.In addition, various other entities, like the National Commission for Human Rights, the National Kapodistrian University of Athens, the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki and others organize similar events on human rights (conferences, printing leaflets for teachers, etc.).

133.As far as the Universities and Technological Institutions are concerned, as autonomous and independent organizations, they participate in various programmes and organize events on human rights.

4.Activities in the field of healthcare

134.In addition to the legal safeguards for the rights for rights of hospital patients and person with mental disorders, the Ministry of Health has undertaken the following initiatives:

•Establishment of Offices for the Protection of the Rights of Health Service Recipients in NHS Hospitals as well as establishment of the Monitoring Committee for the Protection of the Rights of Health Service Recipients, within the Ministry of Health, based on Law 4368/2016;

•Publication of circulars on the occasion of the European Day for Patient Rights on 15-4-2016 and 13-4-2017;

•Publication of a Joint Ministerial Decision dated 4/4/2016, referring to arrangements that ensure access of the uninsured to the Public Health System;

•Publication of a Ministerial Decision dated 10/2/2017, referring to the “Organization and Operation Framework of the Office for the Protection of the Rights of Health Service Recipients in NHS Hospitals”;

•Legislative Reform of the Administrative Organization of Mental Health Services (Law 4461/2017), which concerns, inter alia, the establishment of Sectoral Scientific Committees for Mental Health as well as a Monitoring Committee for the Protection of the Rights of Mental Health Service Recipients;

•Organization of a one-day workshop, on 26/4/2017, entitled “Human-centered and qualitative health care with emphasis on patients’ rights”;

•Organization by the Ministry of a training course for Hospitals’ staff serving at the Offices for the Protection of the Rights of Health Service Recipients.

135.Furthermore, the Directorate of Primary Health Care and Prevention, Section D: Health Promotion & Prevention in collaboration with scientific and professional entities, has drafted and developed the “National Pilot Program for the Prevention and Health Promotion of the Elderly People — Ipioni “, focusing, each year, on a different topic (in 2015 on “Diabetes mellitus” and in 2016 on “Preventing Osteoporosis and Falls”). The philosophy of the program is to highlight the importance of active and healthy aging by protecting the rights of older people, improving quality of life for them and for their families, strengthening autonomous living, social participation, and integration, as well as, enhancing their role at social, economic and cultural level.

5.Official Development Assistance of Greece — 2015

136.The total Official Development Assistance of Greece (bilateral and multilateral ODA) in 2015 amounted to 238.70 m. USD i.e. 0.12% of Gross National Income (GNI 2015=195,784.80 m. USD according to data from the Ministry of Finance). The total bilateral ODA granted by Greece in 2015 amounted to 71.88 m. USD.

Aid Allocation by Type of Aid

•Contributions to specific programmes and funds managed by International;

•Organizations: 0.35 m. USD;

•Projects: 0.91 m. USD;

•Experts and other technical co-operation: 1.25 m. USD;

•Scholarships and imputed costs of students from developing countries studying at Greek Universities: 9.86 m. USD;

•Refugees in the donor country: 59.43 m. USD.

Aid Allocation by Sector of Aid

•Social Infrastructure and Services: 10.24 m. USD;

•Education: 9.16 m. USD;

•Health: 0.21 m. USD;

•Government and civil society: 0.72 m. USD;

•Other social infrastructure and services: 0.15 m. USD.

Crosscutting: 2.07 m USD

•Water supply and Sanitation: 0.15 m. USD;

•General environmental protection: 0.19 m. USD;

•Tertiary Scholarships: 1.97 m. USD.

Humanitarian assistance: 0.07 m. USD

•Costs of refugees: 59.43 m. USD.

137.The total multilateral ODA granted by Greece in 2015 amounted to 166.82 m. USD. Multilateral ODA is provided by line Ministries which, depending on their subject and competences, provide funds for international development purposes via International Organizations. These Organizations support developing countries, promote human rights and provide assistance in emergency situations.

138.Total flows granted by Greece to EU institutions for foreign development assistance amounted to 157.90 m. USD of which 102.46 m. USD accounted for Greece’s share to the EU budget for development cooperation, while 55.44 m. USD was the country’s contribution to the European Development Fund (EDF).

139.ODA amounting to 7.64 m. USD was also granted through the United Nations system mainly to UNESCO, UNIDO, UNEP, UNDPKO, UNFCCC, FAO, WHO, WMO, while the amount of 1.27 m. USD was granted to other International Organizations to implement development projects, mainly to CIHEAM and ISTA.

140.It is to be noted that the human rights dimension runs through the total development/humanitarian aid that is provided by Greece.

141.There is a large number of NGOs in Greece active in the field of human Rights. NGOs are systematically involved in the designing and implementation of policies in a variety of fields, such as gender equality, the fight against trafficking in human beings, etc. They are also consulted in the context of the elaboration of national action plans in the field of human rights. Six major NGOs are members of the National Commission for Human Rights.

142.The Institute of Educational Policy (IEP), a body supervised by the Ministry of Education, through its Department of Intercultural Education, has developed an accreditation procedure for NGO activities in Greece that refers to refugee children (5–18 years old). NGOs submit their educational programme via a specific platform (https://www.iep.edu.gr/services/mitroo/mko/) and receive approval for implementing educational activities. In this way, it is ensured that the programmes offered comply with the international educational standards and the acknowledged needs of the refugee target education group.

143.Moreover, the Institute of Educational Policy has developed a platform (http://www.iep.edu.gr/diapolitismiki/) as an aggregator for the educational material that has been developed for teaching Greek as a second language to immigrant students, Roma students and Muslim Minority children in Thrace.

F.Reporting process at the national level

144.Greece’s common core document and treaty-specific (initial and periodic reports), as well as the UPR report, are drafted following wide consultations among all the Ministries involved in the implementation of the relevant human rights treaty, coordinated either by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs or a Ministry with particular responsibilities and/or expertise on the issues covered by a specific treaty.

145.For instance, in view of the drafting of the most recent CEDAW report, an Inter-Ministerial Working Group was set up upon the initiative of the General Secretariat for Gender Equality. In addition, all women’s NGOs and NGOs active in the field of gender equality were invited to submit their contribution. After the collection of the material, a Working Group composed of senior officials of the General Secretariat for Gender Equality prepared the final version of the report. The said periodic report was printed by the National Printing House both in Greek and in English and has been disseminated to all Ministries, Public Authorities, the Hellenic Parliament, NGOs, civil society and other relevant stakeholders in Greece and abroad.

146.The initial report submitted to the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities was drafted by the Directorate of International Relations of the Ministry of Labour, Social Security and Social Solidarity (the then focal point for the purposes of Article 33 of the Convention), in cooperation with, along with the Ministries, Authorities and Agencies involved, the National Confederation of Persons with Disabilities.

147.In view of the preparation of Greece’s UPR report, an open invitation to a public consultation with civil society representatives of the General Secretariat for Transparency and Human Rights of the Ministry of Justice, Transparency and Human Rights was posted on the Ministry’s website and was widely disseminated. The National Commission for Human Rights has also informed its members about the consultation. A number of civil society organizations submitted written documents. Following that, a public hearing of the abovementioned civil society organizations was held, organized by the General Secretariat for Transparency and Human Rights.

148.According to the Law establishing the NCHR, the Commission delivers an opinion on reports which the country is to submit to international organizations on related matters. On the basis of that provision, the first draft of reports to UN human rights treaty bodies is submitted to the NCHR, in which participate, as already explained, thirty-five institutions, whose activities cover the field of human rights, including six major NGOs. The comments of the NCHR are incorporated, to the largest extent possible, into the final text of the report.

149.The Concluding Observations of the UN treaty bodies are, usually, translated into Greek and posted on the website of the NCHR. They are also widely disseminated within the Administration. Relevant articles are often published in the press. Further efforts will be made to increase dissemination and public awareness of treaty bodies’ recommendations.

III.Information on non-discrimination and equality and effective remedies

Constitutional level

150.The general principle of equality before the law is established in article 4 (1) of the Greek Constitution, which provides that “Greeks are equal before the law” and is binding on both the legislator and the judiciary. According to the content of article 4 (1), equality is to be construed not solely as equal treatment of citizens in the implementation of the law, i.e. an obligation of the administration to apply the law in a non-discriminatory manner (equality before the law), but also as an obligation of the legislator to treat significantly similar situations in a similar manner, and significantly different situations in a different manner, when enacting a legal instrument (equal protection of the law). Any differential treatment must be based on reasonable and objective criteria or be justified by special circumstances or other specific reasons that will promote the general interest.

151.The special provision of Article 5 (2) of the Constitution supplements the general principle of equality before the law. This provision establishes the right of equal enjoyment of rights both for Greek citizens and aliens. According to the said provision, “All persons living within the Greek territory shall enjoy full protection of their life, honor and freedom, irrespective of nationality, race or language and of religious or political beliefs. Exceptions shall be permitted only in cases provided for by international law”.

152.As already explained, the principle of equality implies that significantly similar situations are dealt with in a similar manner, and significantly different situations are dealt with in different manners. Some criteria of differentiation are dictated by the Constitution itself. These criteria are often associated with the protection of some important social rights. Thus, article 21 (1) provides for the protection of family, marriage, motherhood and childhood. According to the Constitution, some categories of persons deserve special care. These are disabled persons, families with many children, persons suffering from incurable bodily or mental ailments etc. (articles 21 (2), (3), (5) and (6)). The case-law of the courts proves that the aforementioned criteria of differentiation are indeed being applied, to the benefit of the persons concerned.

153.Under paragraph 2 of Article 116 of the Constitution, “adoption of positive measures for promoting equality between men and women does not constitute discrimination on the basis of gender. The State shall attend to the elimination of inequalities actually existing, especially to the detriment of women”.

154.It is noteworthy that the effective application of the principle of equality is enhanced by the competence of the courts to deny the application of any provision of any law, which violates the principle of equality or the relevant provisions of international conventions that establish the principle of non-discrimination. The power of the courts not to apply a statute whose content is contrary to the Constitution is provided for in the Constitution itself (article 93 (4)).

155.The equality of remuneration for work of equal value is provided for in article 22 (1) (b) of the Constitution. According to the jurisprudence of the Special Supreme Court, this provision is applicable solely on those employed in the private sector and not on those employed in the public sector or self-employed and entrepreneurs. Similar conditions of employment and provision of services, as well as similar qualifications constitute a prerequisite for the application of the principle of equality in the framework of an employment contract. It is self-evident that foreign citizens are also beneficiaries of the right to equal remuneration.

156.Equality in taxation means that all citizens have to contribute to public charges in proportion to their means (article 4 (5) of the Constitution).

157.Article 4 (6) of the Constitution provides for equality in the obligation for military service.

Legislative level

158.In accordance with article 4 of the Civil Code (hereinafter: CC), a foreign national enjoys the same civil rights that are afforded to Greek citizens. All persons legally residing in Greece enjoy equal social security rights as Greek nationals under the same employment status, the right to social protection, equal access to services provided by public agencies or entities, local government organizations and public utilities and the right to be admitted in public hospitals and clinics (art. 21 and 26 of Migration and Social Integration Code / Law 4251/2014)). Furthermore, the Migration and Social Integration Code sets out the conditions for granting the EC long-term resident status (Directive 2004/109/EC) or other national residence permits of long duration, which further extend equal treatment with nationals. The implementation of equal treatment principle is linked to the purpose and duration of residence. Undocumented migrants are entitled to free healthcare, if they belong to vulnerable groups. At the same time, access to emergency care and childbirth in hospitals is available to third-country nationals regardless of their residence status. Foreign minors have access to health care institutions, regardless of their legal status or that of their parents. Children of refugees, asylum seekers and foreign citizens, regardless of their legal status or that of their parents, have the right to education including the enrolment to public schools.

159.In December 2016, Parliament adopted Law 4443/2016, which substantially amended and replaced Law 3304/2005, incorporating three relevant EU directives (2000/43/EC dated 29 June 2000, implementing the principle of equal treatment between persons irrespective of racial or ethnic origin, 2000/78/EC dated 27 November 2000, establishing a general framework for equal treatment in employment and occupation and 2014/54/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 April 2014, on measures facilitating the exercise of rights conferred on workers in the context of freedom of movement for workers.

160.The Law establishes a single and comprehensive regulatory framework for the implementation of the principle of non-discrimination and defines the bodies responsible for protecting, promoting and monitoring compliance with the abovementioned principle, expanding, in this regard, the tasks assigned to the Greek Ombudsman.

161.The prohibited forms of discrimination are the following: direct discrimination, indirect discrimination, harassment (which manifests itself through an unwanted conduct related to a prohibited ground of discrimination, with the purpose or effect of insulting the dignity of a person and of creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment), instruction to apply a discriminatory treatment against a person on the prohibited grounds, discrimination by association (less favourable treatment due to the close relationship of a person with a person bearing characteristics covered by the prohibited grounds of discrimination), discrimination by perception (less favourable treatment of a person perceived to have the abovementioned specific characteristics), multiple discrimination and refusal of reasonable accommodation of persons with disabilities or suffering from chronic disease.

162.The prohibited grounds of discrimination are the following: race, colour, national or ethnic origin, descent, religious or other beliefs, disability or chronic condition, age, family or social status, sexual orientation, gender identity or characteristics.

163.The scope of the Law, in respect of all of the abovementioned prohibited grounds of discrimination includes:

•conditions of access to employment and to occupation in general, including selection criteria and recruitment conditions, in all branches of activity and levels of the professional hierarchy, as well as the terms and conditions of hierarchical and professional advancement;

•access to all types and levels of vocational guidance, training, retraining and practical work experience;

•employment and working conditions, including dismissals, remuneration, health and safety at work, reinstatement and re-employment of those that had become unemployed;

•membership of and participation to an organization of workers or employers or any other professional organization.

•187.The scope of the Law extends, in case of discrimination on the grounds of race, color, national or ethnic origin and descent, to the following fields:

•social protection, including social security and health care;

• social and tax advantages;


•access to and supply of goods and services which are made available to the public, including housing.

164.It is, however, to be noted that the said provisions do not apply in cases where a justified different treatment on the ground of nationality is specifically provided for (for instance employment in the public service) and do not affect provisions and conditions of the legal status of third-country nationals or stateless persons.

165.Furthermore, a difference of treatment based on a characteristic related to one of the abovementioned grounds of discrimination, which, by reason of the nature or the context of the particular occupational activities, constitutes a genuine and determining occupational requirement, is not deemed as “discriminatory” provided that the aim pursued is legitimate and the requirement is proportionate (Article 4).

166.In order to dispel any ambiguity, Article 7 of the Law clarifies that the adoption or maintaining of special measures with the aim to preventing or compensating disadvantages on the above grounds does not constitute “discrimination”, thus confirming the conformity of “positive action” with the principle of equal treatment.

167.Moreover, the Law contains provisions on reasonable accommodation of persons with disabilities or chronic disease, as well as on the justification of differences of treatment on the ground of age.

168.A specific Chapter (III) of Law 4443/2016 is devoted to the protection of victims of discrimination. Besides judicial protection, the aggrieved party, according to Article 8 (1), may resort to administrative recourses (petitions and complaints), which may lead to the withdrawal, amendment or annulment of the relevant administrative act.

169.In order to strengthen the defense of victims of discrimination, it is foreseen that legal persons, whose aim is to ensure respect of the principle of equal treatment regardless of the grounds set out in the Law, may represent the aggrieved party before the competent court or any administrative authority or organ, provided that the interested person has previously given his or her written consent (Article 8 (3)). Such legal persons may also lodge a third party intervention (in favor of the alleged victim) before the competent civil and administrative courts and are exempted from the relevant fees.

170.When persons who consider themselves wronged establish before a court or a competent administrative authority facts from which it may be presumed that there has been direct or indirect discrimination, it shall be for the respondent to prove, or for the administrative authority to establish, that there have been no circumstances constituting a breach of the principle of equal treatment (Article 9 (1)). The shift of the burden of proof in civil cases does not apply to criminal procedures (Article 9 (2)).

171.Furthermore, protection is afforded against the victimization of the complainant (Article 10). Criminal sanctions may be imposed regarding the supply of goods or services to the public in contravention of the principle of equal treatment, according to Article 11 (1). An infringement of the prohibition of discriminatory treatment by an employer, concerning the conclusion or the refusal to conclude a labor relationship, as well the latter’s operation or termination, is considered as a breach of labor legislation and is sanctioned by a fine (Article 11 (2)).

172.A most important aspect of Law 4443/2016 is the designation of the Greek Ombudsman, an independent authority, as the body responsible for monitoring and promoting the implementation of the principle of equal treatment in the fields covered by the law, both in the public and the private sectors, with regard to the abovementioned prohibited grounds of discrimination. More specifically, the Greek Ombudsman assists victims of discrimination through mediation or, in case the latter does not produce satisfactory results, by forwarding its findings to the body responsible for taking disciplinary action or imposing sanctions, conducts investigations with regard to the alleged discrimination, following a complaint or on its own initiative, publishes relevant reports and delivers opinions on the interpretation of the Law (Article 14).

173.In addition, the violation of the principle of the equal treatment at work and employment constitutes a violation of the labor law. For this reason, the Labour Inspectorate may, among others, conduct researches for the implementation of the labor law provisions, examine complaints filed by discrimination victims, inform the citizens regarding their rights prescribed in Law 4443/2016, undertake conciliation actions for the resolution of individual or collective labour disputes between employers and employees. According to article 24 of Law. 3996/2011, the Labour Inspectorate may impose administrative fines. In any case, the Labour Inspectorate cooperates closely with the Office of the Ombudsman.

174.As authorities and Services responsible for monitoring and promoting the principle of equal treatment have been designated all the independent authorities, in the framework of exercising their main responsibilities, the General Secretariat of Transparency and Human Rights of the Ministry of Justice, Transparency and Human Rights, the Department of Social Protection and Social Cohesion of the Ministry of Labour, Social Security and Social Solidarity, as well as a number of other Departments within the Administration, in the exercise of their main tasks (Article 15).

175.Furthermore, the Law contains provisions on social dialogue between the social partners, as well as with NGOs, for the promotion of the principles of equal opportunities and equal treatment and assigns a crucial role in this respect to the Economic and Social Committee (Article 13). In addition, it places special emphasis on cooperation of the “equal treatment body” (the Greek Ombudsman) with the abovementioned Departments and Services, as well as social partners’ organizations (Article 16).

176.With regard to existing penal laws against discrimination, in September 2014, Parliament adopted Law 4285/2014, amending Law 927/1979, with the aim to strengthening the country’s criminal anti-racism legislation and adjusting the relevant legislative framework with EU Council Framework Decision 2008/913/JHA.

177.Law 4285/2014 punishes, inter alia, public incitement to acts or activities which may result to discrimination, hatred or violence against individuals or groups of individuals defined by reference to race, colour, religion, descent, national or ethnic origin, sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability, in a manner which endangers public order or threatens life, liberty or physical integrity of the abovementioned persons; the establishment of or participation in an organization or union of persons of any kind systematically pursuing the commission of the abovementioned acts; under the circumstances prescribed by the law, the act of publicly condoning, trivializing or maliciously denying the commission or seriousness of crimes of genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity, the Holocaust and Nazi crimes, recognized by decisions of international courts or the Hellenic Parliament. The penalties are stricter if these crimes are committed by a civil servant. In addition, the law introduces the administrative liability of legal persons or unions of persons.

178.Penalties for racist crimes have been stiffened. The new article 81A introduced in the Criminal Code raises the minimum penalty and doubles the monetary penalties that may be imposed for racist crimes. Under the same article, the commission of an offense on racist grounds (i.e. on account of race, colour, religion, descent, national or ethnic origin, sexual orientation, disability, gender identity and, as recently added, gender characteristics) constitutes an aggravating circumstance, while law enforcement personnel, prosecutors and judges have the power to investigate and take into consideration the potential racist motivation at all stages of criminal proceedings. A recent legislative amendment by Law 4356/2015, which eliminated the notion of “hatred” from the elements of the crime, facilitates even more the applicability of art. 81A. Moreover, a new criminal offence has been established (art. 361B of the Criminal Code) punishing the provision of goods and services with the contemptuous exclusion of a person on racist grounds. In addition, Greece has ratified, in 2016, the Council of Europe (CoE) Cybercrime Convention and its Additional Protocol concerning the criminalisation of acts of a racist and xenophobic nature committed through computer systems.

179.The punishable acts under the law, as well as any crimes committed as a result thereof, are prosecuted ex officio. Victims of such offenses are exempted from the obligation to pay a fee when submitting a criminal complaint or participating as a civil party in a criminal procedure. Victims of hate crimes may also be provided with free legal aid and are exempted from the obligation to pay a fee to file a criminal complaint or participate in the criminal proceedings for crimes prosecuted ex officio. Furthermore, third-country nationals who are victims or material witnesses of racist acts may be granted a residence permit on humanitarian grounds. A recent legislative amendment provides, also, that undocumented migrants who report racist crimes are not to be submitted to return procedures.

180.Data collection with regard to racist crimes has significantly improved and is expected to further improve following the operation of the new computerization system of the courts. A unified mechanism and database for registering alleged incidents of racist and xenophobic violence (including allegations against police personnel) has been created.

181.The most important measures taken in the field of law enforcement are the establishment of two specialized Departments and 68 Offices throughout the country and the operation of a hotline and a web site for complaints about racist violence or information on the rights of the victims; the obligation for police officers to ascertain whether a criminal act has been racially motivated (the same applies to the disciplinary investigation of cases involving inappropriate behaviour of police officers against persons belonging to vulnerable groups or foreign nationals); co-ordination with local and non-governmental organizations and training of police staff. In the field of training of police officers and prosecutors, Greece is cooperating with the CoE and the OSCE.

182.Furthermore, five special prosecutors have been appointed for the investigation of racist crimes in Athens, Piraeus, Thessalonica, Patra and Heraklion.

183.As already mentioned, the NCHR and the Office of the UNHCR in Greece established, in 2011, the “Racist Violence Recording Network” (RVRN) in which participate 35 NGOs and other bodies, having as a primary goal the documentation of racist incidents. Moreover, the “National Council against Racism and Intolerance” has been established with the participation, inter alia, of the NCHR, the RVRN, the UNHCR and the Greek Ombudsman. The purpose of this Council is the development of a comprehensive anti-racist strategy, the coordination of all relevant stakeholders and the monitoring of the application of international, European and national legislation. A National Action Plan against Racism and Intolerance is also among the tasks of the Council.

184.Law 3986/2010 on the “Implementation of the principle of equal opportunities and equal treatment of men and women in matters of work and employment — Harmonization of the current legislation with Directive 2006/54/EC of the European Parliament and the Council, of July 5th 2006 and other relevant provisions”, aims at establishing a clear and comprehensive legislative framework for the implementation in the private and the public sector of the principle of equal treatment of men and women in matters of work and employment.

185.In addition, the Law seeks to promote cooperation of all competent institutional mechanisms of the State among themselves and with the social partners, NGOs and enterprises, in order to fight against gender equality gaps that are prevalent at the labour market, making difficult women’s access to employment and increasing respectively, women’s unemployment rate. The law aims to encourage changes (proactive legislation) by enacting a net of provisions that would safeguard the effective implementation of the principle, through the designation of a competent body for the unified examination of the complaints concerning violation of the same, but also through a system of enhanced legal protection and appropriate and dissuasive sanctions.

186.The law has a very wide field of application that covers the persons employed or are candidates to be employed at the State and the wider public sector, as well as the private sector, under any relation of work or form of employment. It prohibits all forms of direct and indirect discrimination on the grounds of gender and family status in relation to access to salaried or not employment or the professional life in general, including selection criteria and recruitment conditions whatever the branch of activity and at all levels of the professional hierarchy, terms, work and employment conditions, promotions, staff evaluation systems. It also defines and prohibits sexual harassment. It provides that gender-based discrimination also constitute any less favourable treatment of a person on the grounds of gender re-assignment, the order containing gender-based discrimination against a person as well as the less favourable treatment of women due to pregnancy or maternity. At the same time, the law expressly prohibits the termination or otherwise the dissolution of the work contract and the employment relationship, as well as any other unfavourable treatment on the grounds of gender or family status or as an attempt to victimize the person concerned. It safeguards the right to return from maternity leave as well as any leave for the birth, upbringing or adoption of a child.

187.Furthermore, the law specifies that any person who believes that he or she has sustained damage due to lack of compliance with the provisions of the law, even if the work relation has ended, is entitled to protection from the courts, as well as to appeal before the competent administrative authorities (Labor Inspectorate) including the mediation proceedings by the Office of the Ombudsman. Legal entities and unions of persons having relevant legal interest may, with the consent of the party offended by violations of the present law, file in the latter’s name an appeal before the competent administrative or judicial authorities. They may also intervene to his or her defense before the administrative or judicial authorities. Finally, the law provides for the reversal of the burden of evidence in cases of gender-based discrimination (with the exceptions of criminal law cases).

188.The Greek Ombudsman has been appointed as the competent body to monitor the implementation of the principle of equal opportunities and equal treatment of men and women in terms of access to employment, vocational training and promotion and working conditions, while a special cooperative scheme with the Labour Inspectorate Authority has been developed, since the latter is the competent national mechanism for monitoring the implementation of the labor legislation as well as for imposing sanctions in case of non-compliance.

Educational programmes and public information campaigns to eliminate negative attitudes and prejudice

189.Following the Protocol of Cooperation signed in July 2015 between the General Secretariat for Gender Equality (GSGE) and the Ministry of Education, 1.142 primary and secondary school students were educated in gender equality issues in 14 schools of Athens. Primary and secondary school students have regularly visited the premises of the General Secretariat for Gender Equality and were informed about gender equality issues by the gender experts of the GSGE.

190.In cooperation with Helena’s Maternity Hospital of Athens and Ministry of Education, the GSGE continued to offer information on sexual and reproductive health issues to secondary school students, for the year 2015–2016.

191.A public awareness campaign is implemented every year including, promotion of informational material in several languages (Greek, English, French, Albanian), TV and radio spots, cultural events, publicity on public transport, entries in Press, a webpage (www.womensos.gr) and a Facebook page as well as banners in web pages. Its goal is to promote a zero-tolerance attitude towards violence against women and girls and to widely disseminate information on existing structures and measures regarding the protection of women victims.

192.Participation of the General Secretariat for Gender Equality for the first time in the 19th International Film Festival for children and youth (Olympia, December 2016).

Persons belonging to vulnerable groups – education of refugee and migrant children

193.Since September 2016, all pre-primary and primary schools in Greece with four or more classes (e.g.: a total of 13.373) have become “Uniform All Day Schools”. This measure was taken by the Minister of Education, Research and Religious Affairs in order to prevent discrimination and inequalities, all over Greece, independently of any existing differences (geographical, economic, social, etc.). For the next school year, the “Uniform All Day School” will be expanded to also cover small schools with less than four classes.

194.The Ministry of Education has established for the school year 2016–2017 an emergency Action Plan for the education of refugee and migrant children. The main objective of the Ministry is to ensure the psychosocial support and the integration of refugee children in the Greek educational system following a preparatory, transitional period. The plan is differentiated according to the age groups of children and it is adapted to the special needs and conditions of children taken into consideration the types of accommodation of refugee population, either “site-based”, i.e. population placed temporarily in open temporary sites (in refugee Accommodation Centers) or “off-site”, i.e. population residing in rented apartments, hotels or shelters (beneficiaries of the UNHCR accommodation scheme or other accommodations supported by NGOs and municipalities).

195.As regards the children living in refugee Accommodation Centers, starting from the school year 2016–2017, the Ministry of Education, Research and Religious Affairs (MoE) has established the Reception School Annexes for Refugee Education (RSARE). RSARE are specially designed as a preparatory transitional intervention scheme aiming to ensure the gradual integration of refugee children to the educational system whether in Greece or elsewhere in Europe. The curriculum includes Greek language courses, Mathematics, Foreign language courses (English, etc.), Computer Science, Physical Education and Arts classes. For the teaching and learning of the Greek Language, teacher guides and textbooks that have been developed and used in the Schools of Intercultural Education for teaching Greek as a second language are used, after they have been dully amended. The first Reception Annexes opened on October 10th 2016 and since then Reception School Annexes were established for 33 Accommodation Centers all over Greece covering the administrative regions of Attica, Central Greece, Western Greece, Thessaly, Epirus, Central Macedonia, Eastern Macedonia and Thrace. More than 3,000 children aged 7–15 years old are integrated in RSARE.

196.Three Ministries collaborate for the opening of the RSARE:

•The Ministry of Education, Research and Religious Affairs (created a Working Group on the Management, Coordination and Monitoring of the Refugee Education);

•The Ministry of Health (created a Working Group on the Vaccination of refugees) for the Vaccination scheme;

•The Ministry of Migration Policy (responsible for the infrastructure of the Centers).

197.The International Organization for Migration (IOM) ensures the transportation of children between public primary and secondary schools and refugee Accommodation Centers and provides children of primary school age with school kits, containing the necessary school materials. In order to ensure their safety and security, all children are escorted by IOM specially appointed staff. School kits for secondary school children are provided by the UNHCR. All textbooks are provided by the Greek state. The MoE appointed Refugee Education Coordinators (RECs) to each refugee Accommodation Center with main duty to ensure the proper function of the RSARE, by coordinating and establishing channels of communication between all the different parties involved.

198.Children living in “off-site” accommodations, (in flats, hotels etc.) are attending morning classes of Greek public schools close to their residence in the Reception Classes, where supplementary teaching and tutorial support is being provided to them within the mainstream schools they attend. Refugee children also enroll in the Schools of Intercultural Education that operate in Greece.

199.For children aged 15–18 years, the Ministry is exploring forms of formal and/or informal technical and vocational education in cooperation with entities such as the Manpower apprenticeship schools, the Center of the Greek General Confederation of Labor for Education and Lifelong Learning, etc.

200.Apart from the Ministries’ joint efforts, the successful implementation of the Plan is also based on significant contributions by International Organizations (such as the International Organization for Migration and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees), local administration, as well as NGOs. These organizations and bodies have played an important role in issues such as: the provision of material-technical infrastructure in the Accommodation Centers, the transportation of children to the schools, provision of children with school kits, mother tongue teaching (such as Arabic, Farsi, Kurmanji, etc.), psycho-social support of parents and children, adult education, creative and athletic activities as well as the provision of translators and cultural mediators.

201.With regard to the education of Roma pupils, just like the children of immigrants, the basic legislation on education is single and common. For equal access to education of groups facing difficulties, a special institutional framework is available, which is depicted in the project ‘Education of Roma children’ particularly for this category of pupils. This project is implemented by the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, in the framework of the “Education and Lifelong Learning” Operational Programme of the Ministry of Education. The programme provides for various information, awareness raising and support actions that will be implemented in pre-primary, primary and secondary education schools of nine (9) prefectures of the country.

202.Regarding the education of foreigners and repatriates, the aim of the Ministry of Education and Religious Affairs is to ensure, as far as possible, equitable education to them, as well as to address the problem of school dropout and failure. The programme “Education of Foreigners and repatriates”, which is implemented by the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, also in the framework of the “Education and Lifelong Learning” Operational Programme of the Ministry of Education, is addressed to public primary and secondary education school units, nationwide. It seeks to improve school performance of foreign pupils and repatriates and facilitate their social integration. The project activities are the following: Support for reception classes, Enhancing the learning of the Greek language, Fostering intercultural communication at school level, Training of teachers and members of the educational community, Supporting the native language of students, Psychological support program, Connecting school and community, School networking and others.

203.The General Secretariat for Lifelong Learning of the Ministry of Education has organized and operates the Educational Programme ‘Education of immigrants in Greek language, Greek history and the Greek civilization ODYSSEY’. The implementation of the project has been assigned to the Institute of Youth and Lifelong Learning. The project aims at supporting students to acquire the language, as well as other social and intercultural skills required for the social inclusion of themselves and their families.

204.Furthermore, as a means of promoting a diverse and intercultural learning, all-day schools under the new curriculum were put into operation on a pilot phase since the school year 2011–2012. A variety of optional courses were offered (Sports, Acting, English, Music, Second Foreign Language, Arts etc.) as well as the Study and Preparation class as an integrated subject.

Measures towards gender equality

205.Greece’s main priorities in the field of gender equality are reflected in the new National Action Plan on Gender Equality 2016–2020 (NAPGE), prepared by the General Secretariat for Gender Equality/Ministry of Interior in cooperation with other public bodies, academia and civil society and aligned with the priorities of the European Union and United Nations on Gender Equality. The NAPGE is of national scope and the strategic objectives set for the new period 2016–2020 are as follows: social inclusion and equal treatment of women facing multiple discrimination; combating violence against women; labour market, work-family reconciliation; education, training, media, culture, sports; health; equal participation of women in decision-making positions.

206.NAPGE includes a variety of horizontal interventions in public policy and vertical specialized policies aimed at women and men in areas where inequalities are identified.

207.Within the strategic objective 2 (Combating violence against women) the General Secretariat for Gender Equality of the Ministry of Interior, is implementing since 2010 the “National Programme on Preventing and Combating Violence against Women”, which is the first comprehensive and coherent national action plan against gender based violence.

208.The “National Programme on Preventing and Combating Violence against Women”, refers to all forms of gender based violence (e.g. domestic violence, rape, sexual harassment, trafficking in women).

209.Within this programme a network of 62 structures was established and operates for women victims of gender based violence. This network includes:

•the bilingual SOS telephone helpline 15900 and the e-mail address sos15900@isotita.gr (both in Greek and English) which operates 24 hours/day and 365 days/year. It is a low-cost helpline, nationwide, confidential and staffed by gender-trained counsellors;

•40 Counseling Centers and 21 shelters all over Greece.

210.The services provided by the above mentioned structures are free of charge and include psychosocial support, legal counseling as well as counseling in labour issues, emergency shelter and, where necessary, legal aid in cooperation with local Bar Associations. The tasks of the structures also include networking with local agencies and relevant associations for joint communication and public awareness programme. Special training on handling cases of GBV is offered to counselors who are recruited in the Counseling Centers, the Shelters and the SOS telephone helpline, to lawyers who participate in the legal aid programmes of women-victims of violence, as well as to professionals who deal with such cases (i.e. policemen, judges, health professionals, etc.).

211.The public awareness campaign included relevant seminars, a thematic conference, informational material in several languages (Greek, English, French, Albanian), TV and radio spots, cultural events, publicity on public transport, entries in Press, a webpage (www.womensos.gr) and a Facebook page as well as banners in web pages. The campaign is ongoing every year and its goal is to promote a zero-tolerance attitude towards VAWG and to widely disseminate information on existing structures and measures regarding the protection of women victims. In the new programming period (2016–2020) a new similar awareness campaign will be organized.

212.In the new programming period (2016–2020), the GSGE has secured funding so that the structures and actions of the above described programme will continue to operate. Services have been expanded to provide labor counseling. The target group of the services has also been expanded to include apart of women victims of gender based violence also women victims of multiple discrimination (refugees, single parents, Roma, etc.).


Demographic Indicators

(Source: Hellenic Statistical Authority)

According to the 2011 Population-Housing Census, the Resident Population of Greece is 10,816,286, of which 5,303,223 male (49.0%) and 5,513,063 female (51.0%) while the 76.6% lives in urban areas and the 23.4% in rural areas. The population density is 81.9 inhabitants per 1km2.

The age composition of the population using five-year age groups is as follows:

•0–9 years: 1,049,839;

•10–19 years: 1,072,705;

•20–29 years: 1,350,868;

•30–39 years: 1,635,304;

•40–49 years: 1,581,095;

•50–59 years: 1,391,854;

•60–69 years: 1,134,045;

•70–79 years: 1,017,242;

•80+ years: 583,334.

The percentage of resident population under 15 and over 65 years of age is 32.8%.

The average size of households in Greece comes to 2,6 persons. As it concerns the proportion of single-parent households is the 15.3% of the total number of the nuclear families while the 83.9% out of the single-parent households are headed by women.

Estimated population 1st January by sex and age group

M ales







T otal Greece

5 453 444

5 423 884

5 366 251

5 313 239

5 268 390

5 224 210

0 – 4

284 579

282 945

278 331

268 985

256 758

247 104

5 – 9

272 264

273 924

274 541

277 374

280 498

280 927

10 – 14

274 829

274 510

273 779

272 910

271 270

270 324

15 – 19

292 231

284 274

277 802

276 989

273 727

272 492

20 – 24

328 208

321 358

315 342

301 843

292 470

283 893

25 – 29

395 491

370 924

341 797

320 257

306 636

295 771

30 – 34

434 091

426 065

414 569

399 219

379 459

356 834

35 – 39

424 657

421 896

415 314

410 911

407 210

403 794

40 – 44

425 198

424 739

417 667

409 929

404 599

399 211

45 – 49

378 014

381 267

385 554

391 427

397 226

399 945

50 – 54

360 528

360 731

359 112

355 435

352 642

352 949

55 – 59

327 044

329 919

330 635

334 029

337 250

337 268

60 – 64

307 892

307 430

305 820

304 298

304 751

307 859

65 – 69

253 826

263 110

273 112

281 274

285 907

286 878

70 – 74

249 849

242 470

233 372

226 603

225 349

230 482

75 – 79

214 256

214 876

215 267

215 360

214 733

211 288

80 – 84

144 919

149 547

153 867

157 336

159 496

160 222


85 568

93 899

100 370

109 060

118 409

126 969

F emales







T otal Greece

5 669 948

5 662 522

5 637 364

5 613 568

5 589 628

5 559 538

0 – 4

272 571

270 102

265 354

255 299

242 683

232 845

5 – 9

260 086

261 460

261 520

264 696

268 000

268 308

10 – 14

263 925

263 139

262 093

260 840

258 709

257 255

15 – 19

279 328

273 278

268 380

267 031

263 919

262 253

20 – 24

313 750

307 573

302 011

291 019

282 664

274 232

25 – 29

367 501

348 927

327 808

313 894

304 486

297 884

30 – 34

414 295

409 352

401 684

389 033

372 106

351 318

35 – 39

417 712

415 608

411 616

410 119

406 955

404 069

40 – 44

431 569

432 298

426 217

418 849

414 970

410 599

45 – 49

393 373

396 962

404 643

412 740

420 075

424 661

50 – 54

381 910

384 775

387 995

388 024

387 191

387 046

55 – 59

343 636

350 151

355 187

363 167

370 391

375 054

60 – 64

332 997

332 338

331 088

329 963

332 300

337 000

65 – 69

279 162

290 782

304 382

315 768

322 401

323 778

70 – 74

300 159

289 247

275 971

265 246

261 558

266 664

75 – 79

273 318

276 002

277 672

278 821

278 156

272 752

80 – 84

202 044

205 080

209 748

214 071

218 280

221 963


142 612

155 448

163 995

174 988

184 784

191 857

B oth sexes







Total Greece

11 123 392

11 086 406

11 003 615

10 926 807

10 858 018

10 783 748

0 – 4

557 150

553 047

543 685

524 284

499 441

479 949

5 – 9

532 350

535 384

536 061

542 070

548 498

549 235

10 – 14

538 754

537 649

535 872

533 750

529 979

527 579

15 – 19

571 559

557 552

546 182

544 020

537 646

534 745

20 – 24

641 958

628 931

617 353

592 862

575 134

558 125

25 – 29

762 992

719 851

669 605

634 151

611 122

593 655

30 – 34

848 386

835 417

816 253

788 252

751 565

708 152

35 – 39

842 369

837 504

826 930

821 030

814 165

807 863

40 – 44

856 767

857 037

843 884

828 778

819 569

809 810

45 – 49

771 387

778 229

790 197

804 167

817 301

824 606

50 – 54

742 438

745 506

747 107

743 459

739 833

739 995

55 – 59

670 680

680 070

685 822

697 196

707 641

712 322

60 – 64

640 889

639 768

636 908

634 261

637 051

644 859

65 – 69

532 988

553 892

577 494

597 042

608 308

610 656

70 – 74

550 008

531 717

509 343

491 849

486 907

497 146

75 – 79

487 574

490 878

492 939

494 181

492 889

484 040

80 – 84

346 963

354 627

363 615

371 407

377 776

382 185


228 180

249 347

264 365

284 048

303 193

318 826

P opulation density


84 . 30

Residents/sq km


84 . 02

Residents/sq km


83 . 39

Residents/sq km


82 . 81

Residents/sq km


82 . 28

Residents/sq km


81 . 72

Residents/sq km


0 – 14



14 . 64%

19 . 29%


14 . 67%

19 . 67%


14 . 68%

20 . 06%


14 . 64%

20 . 49%


14 . 53%

20 . 90%


14 . 44%

21 . 26%

Live Births



106 428

111 099


100 371

116 668


94 134

111 794


92 149

113 740


91 847

121 212


92 837

118 792

* Provisional

Life expectancy at birth




78 . 0

83 . 6


78 . 0

83 . 4


78 . 7

84 . 0


78 . 8

84 . 1


78 . 5

83 . 7

Total Fertility Rate


1 . 40


1 . 34


1 . 29


1 . 30


1 . 33

Social, Economic and Cultural Indicators

( Source: Hellenic Statistical Authority)

Table I

Evolution of the annual rates of change of the Overall Consumer Price Index

(Base Year: 2009=100 . 0)


Annual rate of change

Annual average rate of change

December Index

Rate of change %

Annual average index

Rate of change %


107 044

5 . 2

104 713

4 . 7


109 629

2 . 4

108 200

3 . 3


110 510

0 . 8

109 824

1 . 5


108 621

-1 . 7

108 813

-0 . 9


105 789

-2 . 6

107 385

-1 . 3


105 612

-0 . 2

105 521

-1 . 7


105 636

0 . 0

104 649

-0 . 8

Average monthly household expenditure (purchases, current prices) on goods and services: 2015–2011 HBS Value in euro

Goods and services

2015 HBS

2014 HBS

2013 HBS

2012 HBS

2011 HBS












1 419.57


1 460.52


1 509.39


1 637.10


1 824.02













Alcoholic beverages and tobacco











Clothing and footwear


































































Recreation and culture






















Hotels. cafes and restaurants











Miscellaneous goods and services











At-risk-of-poverty rate after social transfers by age and gender

Age groups











1 000 persons

2 349 . 0

2 535 . 7

2 529 . 0

2 384 . 0

2 293 . 2

2 255 . 9


21 . 4

23 . 1

23 . 1

22 . 1

21 . 4

21 . 2


1 000 persons

1 130 . 2

1 216 . 3

1 207 . 2

1 169 . 3

1 126 . 5

1 098 . 8


20 . 9

22 . 5

22 . 4

22 . 2

21 . 5

21 . 2


1 000 persons

1 218 . 8

1 319 . 4

1 321 . 9

1 214 . 7

1 166 . 6

1 157 . 1


21 . 9

23 . 6

23 . 8

22 . 0

21 . 2

21 . 2

18 – 64


1 000 persons

1 391 . 9

1 647 . 3

1 644 . 5

1 577 . 6

1 487 . 4

1 487 . 5


20 . 0

23 . 8

24 . 1

23 . 5

22 . 5

22 . 7


1 000 persons

692 . 3

808 . 1

796 . 9

778 . 4

7 474 . 0

734 . 4


19 . 9

23 . 4

23 . 4

23 . 4

22 . 9

22 . 8


1 000 persons

699 . 6

839 . 2

847 . 6

799 . 1

740 . 0

752 . 2


20 . 2

24 . 3

24 . 8

23 . 6

22 . 1

22 . 7



1 000 persons

492 . 6

367 . 4

328 . 6

326 . 1

3 057 . 0

278 . 0


23 . 6

17 . 2

15 . 1

14 . 9

13 . 7

12 . 4


1 000 persons

201 . 7

151 . 5

133 . 6

130 . 0

1 178 . 0

106 . 6


21 . 7

15 . 9

13 . 7

13 . 3

11 . 9

10 . 6


1 000 persons

290 . 9

215 . 9

195 . 0

196 . 1

1 878 . 0

171 . 3


25 . 2

18 . 3

16 . 2

16 . 1

15 . 2

13 . 8

0 – 17


1 000 persons

464 . 6

521 . 0

555 . 9

480 . 4

501 . 0

490 . 4


23 . 7

26 . 9

28 . 8

25 . 5

26 . 6

26 . 3

Inequality of income distribution: Gini coefficient








33 . 5

34 . 3

34 . 4

34 . 5

34 . 2

34 . 3


Total employed




Agriculture , forestry and fishing

Secondary sector total

Industry including energy


Tertiary sector total

Trade, hotels and restaurants, transport and communication

Financial, real estate, renting and business activities

Other service activities


4 556 . 00

532 . 9

962 . 7


370 . 7

3 060 . 40

1 428 . 90

457 . 3

1 174 . 30


4 389 . 80

544 . 2

859 . 8

540 . 2

319 . 6

2 985 . 80

1 380 . 00


1 167 . 80


4 054 . 30

500 . 7

717 . 2

471 . 4

245 . 8

2 836 . 50

1 298 . 10

432 . 4

1 106 . 00


3 695 . 00

480 . 5

611 . 3

410 . 4

200 . 9

2 603 . 20

1 163 . 20

424 . 9

1 015 . 10


3 513 . 20

481 . 1

546 . 6

384 . 3

162 . 3

2 485 . 50

1 114 . 20

394 . 2

977 . 1


3 536 . 20

479 . 9

529 . 7

378 . 1

151 . 6

2 526 . 70

1 146 . 90

400 . 2

979 . 6


3 610 . 70

465 . 7

539 . 4

394 . 2

145 . 2

2 605 . 60

1 206 . 30

409 . 7

989 . 6


3 673 . 60

454 . 5


412 . 9

147 . 1

2 659 . 00

1 238 . 90

415 . 9

1 004 . 30

Unemployment rate




9 . 60%


12 . 70%


17 . 90%


24 . 40%


27 . 50%


26 . 50%


24 . 90%


23 . 50%

Share of household consumption expenditures on food, housing, health and education as a percentage (%) of the total value of final consumption expenditure at current prices according to the domestic concept 3

Food and non-alcoholic beverages

15 . 8

16 . 8

16 . 6

16 . 1

16 . 4

16 . 6


Housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels

20 . 6

22 . 3

23 . 9

22 . 3

21 . 0

20 . 6



4 . 1

4 . 1

3 . 3

3 . 9

4 . 0

4 . 3



2 . 4

2 . 4

2 . 4

2 . 2

2 . 2

2 . 1


Debt (Maastricht) 4








General Government debt (EDP mission 4_2017) (in million euro)

330 570

356 289

305 096

320 511

319 728

311 668

314 897

Analysis of General Government according to COFOG 5, 6, 7, 8








Category 7 (Health) Final consumption (P3), (in million euro)

14 301

12 465

10 742

9 036

8 039

7 707


Category 9 (Education) Final Consumption (P3), (in million euro)

8 567

8 497

7 997

7 328

6 878

6 631


Category 10 (Social Protection) Final Consumption (P3), (in million euro)

1 638

1 068






Total Final Consumption (P3), (in million euro)

50 275

44 962

41 625

36 949

36 174

35 496


Category 7 (Health) Final consumption (P3) — %

28 . 4

27 . 7

25 . 8

24 . 5

22 . 2

21 . 7


Category 9 (Education) Final Consumption (P3) — %

17 . 0

18 . 9

19 . 2

19 . 8

19 . 0

18 . 7


Category 10 (Social Protection) Final Consumption (P3) — %

3 . 3

2 . 4

1 . 6

1 . 2

1 . 3

1 . 3



1 Gross National Income per capita .

2 For years 1995 – 2014, total population data are revised according to the Census 2011 and refer to the middle of the year. For year 2015, total population data are as of 1/1/2015 .

3 Domestic final consumption expenditure of households includes final consumption expenditure of non-resident households in the economic territory and excludes final consumption expenditure of resident households in the rest of the world .

4 Data refers to the General Government consolidated debt according to EDP Mission of April 2017 .

5 The breakdown is according to COFOG definitions .

6 Data are according to COFOG 2016 (last mission 20.1.2017) .

7 Data refer to General Government .

8 Available data exist until 2015 .

* P rovisional data .



Infectious diseases

3 251

3 405




Viral hemorrhagic fevers






Chickenpox with complications (Varicella)







1 225

1 495

Influenza (laboratory confirmed)









Rubella (German measles)



Rubella, congenital






Hepatitis acute A



Hepatitis acute B



Hepatitis acute C



Hepatitis, other






Yellow fever



Whooping cough






Leishmaniasis (dermal, visceral)












Meningitis of unknown type



Meningitis, viral



Meningitis, bacterial



Meningococcal disease












Q Fever









Syphilis, congenital






Tetanus, neonatal



Toxoplasmosis, congenital



Typhoid fever










Source: Hellenic Center for Disease Control and Prevention — KEELPNO (Public Entity of Private Law under the inspection of the Ministry of Health) .

(1) Including only the cases concerning the infectious diseases included in the Greek List of Diseases for Compulsory Notification which are reported either directly to KEELPNO or to the Hygiene Divisions and Sections of the Prefectures .

* The data of 2015 are provisional .

Registered students and dropout rates

There is a significant deviation in the dropout rates between school types and grades. The highest percentage is recorded in vocational training (11%), while the largest number of pupils drops out at the Gymnasium (4,338 pupils) with a significantly higher percentage (4.23%) compared to Primary or High Schools.

Education classification

School type


D ropouts

Student d ropout percentage %

(School period 2013–16)

Primary (compulsory) education


“ Demotiko ” (cohort A C)

99 984

1 788

1 . 79%

Primary (compulsory) education


“ Demotiko ” (cohort D – F)

95 805

1 577

1 . 65%

Secondary (compulsory) education


“ Gymnasio ”

102 447

4 338

4 . 23%

Secondary (non-compulsory) education


“ General Lykeio ”

78 237

1 499

1 . 92%

Secondary Vocational (non-compulsory) e ducation


“ Vocational Lykeio ”

19 800

2 181

11 . 02%

Source: Information System “ myschool ” (Jan. 2017), Ministry of Education, edited by: IEP Student Dropout Observatory .

Student dropout by gender and type of school

The following table shows registered students and student dropout rates, by gender and school type. It is noted that boys show consistently higher drop-out rates than girls at all levels of education and school type. Greater deviation of individual percentages occurs in “Gymnasium” (ISCED 2), where boys dropout for about 35% more than girls (4.82% and 3.58% respectively). There is no remarkable differentiation in Primary Education (ISCED 1), while in both, General and Vocational, “Lycea” (ISCED 3), boys “predate” about 15% of early school leaving towards girls.


Primary Education (ISCED 1)

Secondary Education (ISCED 2)

Secondary Education (ISCED 3)

Secondary-Vocational Education (ISCED 3)


% Dropouts

R egistered

% D ropouts

R egistered

% D ropouts

R egistered

% D ropouts


51 593

1 . 81

53 949

4 . 82

37 005

2 . 08

13 857

11 . 45


48 391

1 . 76

48 498

3 . 58

41 232

1 . 77

5 943

9 . 99


99 984

1 . 79

102 447

4 . 23


1 . 92

19 800

11 . 02

Students, School Units, Teaching Staff

1. Primary education (kindergartens): Pupils, school units and teaching staff by the end of school years 2011/12–2014/15





School units

5 861

5 792

5 606

5 612

Teaching staff

14 018

13 853

13 526

14 573


165 931

166 576

160 994

160 201

Public schools

School units

5 401

5 309

5 161

5 171

Teaching staff

13 320

13 155

12 877

13 803


154 396

155 541

151 019

149 764

Pupils - teacher ratio

11 . 6

11 . 8

11 . 7

11 . 0

2. Primary education: Pupils, school units and teaching staff by the end of school years 2011/12–2014/15





School units

4 746

4 698

4 633

4 560

Teaching staff

67 314

65 557

65 329

65 461


633 291

630 043

625 165

639 600

Public schools

School units

4 392

4 3 50

4 313

4 253

Teaching staff

63 396

61 726

61 582

61 719


590 070

588 382

586 111

600 781

Pupils - teacher ratio

9 . 3

9 . 5 5

9 . 5

9 . 7

3A. Secondary education: Pupils, school units and teaching staff by the end of school years 2010/11–2013/14 (Day schools)





School units

1 928

1 829

1 827

1 794

Teaching staff

67 314

65 557

65 329

65 461


633 291

630 043

625 165

639 600

Public schools

School units

1 747

1 657

1 659

1 625

Teaching staff

45 875

42 226

39 800

35 908


308 697

302 116

299 571

291 458

Pupils - teacher ratio

6 . 7

7 . 2

7 . 5

8 . 1

Private schools

School units





Teaching staff

2 262

2 197

2 080

2 010


16 328

16 1 82

15 087

14 042

Pupils - teacher ratio





3B. Secondary (compulsory) education: Pupils, school units and teaching staff by the end of school years 2010/11–2013/14 (Evening schools)





Public schools





School units





Teaching staff

6 909

6 069

5 292

4 889


7 . 8



6 . 6

Pupils - teacher ratio

Private schools



School units



Teaching staff






Pupils - teacher ratio

4A. Secondary (non-compulsory) education: Pupils, school units and teaching staff by the end of school years 2010/11–2013/14 (Day schools)





School units

1 338

1 320

1 318

1 306

Teaching staff

29 837

27 6 72

27 327

24 345


247 209

247 717

245 892

241 905

Public schools

School units

1 175

1 159

1 155

1 145

Teaching staff

27 365

25 318

25 012

22 183


224 999

226 129

225 189

222 441

Pupils - teacher ratio




10 . 0

Private schools

School units





Teaching staff

1 793

1 834

1 741

1 709


15 280

15 344

14 696

13 875

Pupils - teacher ratio

8 . 8

8 . 4

8 . 4

8 . 1

4B. Secondary (compulsory) education: Pupils, school units and teaching staff by the end of school years 2010/11–2013/14 (Evening schools)





Public schools





School units





Teaching staff

6 583

6 016

5 809

5 492


10 . 1

12 . 1

10 . 5

12 . 4

Pupils –teacher ratio

Private schools





School units





Teaching staff



1 98



12 . 0

10 . 9

10 . 4

8 . 8

Pupils - teacher ratio

Indicators on the political system

The number of recognized political parties at national level, according to our updated data, amounts to 671 since 1974.

The number of registered voters amounts to 9,903,327. The proportion of the population entitled to vote cannot be calculated because the available data are relating to different periods: on the one hand, the census of the population is carried out every decade, while the electoral lists are reviewed every two months.

The distribution of parliamentary seats, as resulted from the September 2015 elections, is reflected in the following table:


Coalition of the radical left



New democracy



Golden dawn



Democratic coalition (panhellenic socialist movement-democratic left)



Communist party of Greece



The river



Independent Greeks



Union of the centre


The percentage of women elected in the Greek Parliament is 18%.

The average voter turnout in the most recent national elections was 56.16%.

Information on the Administration of Justice










Total prison population (including pre-trial detainees)

11 364

12 349

12 479

12 475

12 693

11 798

9 611

9 560


Remand prisoners

3 541

4 050

4 254

4 325

2 861

2 470

2 510

2 829


Foreign prisoners

6 307

7 210

7 887

7 875

7 623

6 882

5 289

5 195


Female prisoners










Juvenile prisoners (minors and young offenders)










Number of prisoners for drug related offences (including pre-trial detainees)

4 345

4 303

4 136

4 267

3 384

2 872

1 827

2 034


Death sentence (officially abolished in 1994)










Prisoners serving life sentence




1 025

1 041





Prisoners serving sentence from 5 to 20 years

from 5 to 10 years

2 594

2 385

2 511

2 535

3 557

2 887

2 013

1 798

from 10 to 15 years

1 564

1 584

1 665

1 728

1 979

1 827

1 360

1 150

above 15 years

1 090

1 173

3 100

3 200

2 055

2 244

2 093

2 142


Prisoners serving sentence from 10 days to 5 years

up to 6 months









from 6 months to 1 year









from 1 to 2 years









from 2 to 5 years










Prisoners for debt









Statistical data on Article 351 Penal Code (trafficking in human beings for sexual exploitation) and Article 323 A of Penal Code (trafficking in human beings for forced labour, etc.





Criminal prosecutions for sexual exploitation





Criminal prosecutions for forced labour etc.





Convictions in first instance for sexual exploitation





Convictions in first instance for forced labour etc .





Acquittal decisions for sexual exploitation





Acquittal decision for forced labour etc.





Suspended sentences for sexual exploitation





Suspended sentences for forced labour etc .





Appeals to the judgments at first instance for sexual exploitation





Appeal to the judgments at first instance for forced labour etc .





Convictions in second instance for sexual exploitation




Convictions in second instance for forced labour




Statistical data on hate crimes





Incidents with a possible bias-motivation





Inadmissible cases




Criminal prosecutions initiated





Cases filed (perpetrators not identified)





Judgments delivered


10 (8 convictions, 2 acquittals)

5 (3 convictions, 2 acquittals)

Cases under investigation


Number of persons and rate (per 100,000 persons) who were arrested/brought before a court\convicted\sentenced\incarcerated for violent or other serious crimes (such as homicide, robbery, assault and trafficking)

2015 Crimes

2016 Crimes




Rate per 100 000 persons




Rate per 100 000 persons





0 . 80




0 . 75





1 . 13




1 . 43


4 136


2 038

39 . 90

4 738


1 913

43 . 80

Trafficking in human beings



0 . 30



0 . 23

Regular Budget of the Hellenic Police


1 382 200 000 . 00 €


1 525 323 000 . 00 €


1 527 675 000 . 00 €


1 544 675 000 . 00 €