COMMITTEE ON THE ELIMINATION OF RACIAL DISCRIMINATION
6-23 March 2001
CONSIDERATION OF REPORTS
SUBMITTED BY STATES PARTIES UNDER ARTICLE 9 OF THE CONVENTION
of the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination
1. The Committee considered
the twelfth, thirteenth, fourteenth and fifteenth periodic reports of
Greece, submitted as one document (CERD/C/363/Add.4), at its 1455th
and 1456th meetings (CERD/C/SR.1455 and CERD/C/SR.1456), held on 16
March and 19 March 2001, respectively. At its 1462nd meeting (CERD/C/SR.1462),
held on 22 March 2001, it adopted the following concluding observations.
2. The Committee welcomes
the report submitted by the State party, and expresses its appreciation
for the additional written information provided in February 2001 and
the oral information provided by the delegation. It particularly appreciates
the opportunity to resume a positive and constructive dialogue with
the State party.
3. The Committee notes the
valuable information contained in the report, prepared in accordance
with the Committee's guidelines for the form and content of periodic
reports, and welcomes the fact that the report addresses a number of
the concerns and recommendations of the Committee's concluding observations
on the eighth, ninth, tenth and eleventh periodic reports (CERD/C/210/Add.1).
B. Positive aspects
4. The Committee is encouraged
by the self-critical approach of the State party's report and by the
commitment of the State party to the International Convention on the
Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination.
5. The Committee notes that
since the submission of its last report the State party has ratified
a range of international human rights instruments and has signed - although
not yet ratified - the Council of Europe Framework Convention for the
Protection of National Minorities.
6. The Committee welcomes
the information provided in the report and by the delegation concerning
the extent to which courts and other tribunals and administrative authorities
give direct effect to the provisions of international human rights instruments
in their decisions, and the attention given by courts to the case law
of international judicial or quasi-judicial bodies when interpreting
human rights instruments.
7. The Committee welcomes
the establishment of national machinery with responsibility for overseeing
the implementation of human rights, and notes in particular the diverse
and pluralistic structure of the national commission on human rights
established by Law 2667/1998. The Committee also notes the important
role of the National Radio and Television Council, the Code of Journalistic
Ethics and the draft Code of Ethics for Information and Other Journalistic
and Political Programmes in preventing racial discrimination, racist
and xenophobic behaviour and stereotyping in the mass media.
8. The Committee welcomes
the measures taken by the State party to date aimed at promoting effective
equality among individuals, with particular attention to Roma people,
migrant workers, refugees and asylum-seekers, and the minority populations
in Western Thrace.
9. The Committee notes the
information provided by the State party according to which members of
minority groups participate in the political life of the country at
the national and municipal levels.
10. Consistent with the
State party's expressed desire to integrate - rather than assimilate
- minority groups into the social, economic and cultural life of the
country, in a manner aimed at preserving their diverse cultures and
identities, the Committee welcomes the information provided by the State
party concerning the implementation of educational programmes aimed
at the teaching of the Greek language to students with a different mother
tongue, and the training of teachers in the teaching of Greek as a second
11. The Committee welcomes
the information provided by the State party on the extent to which it
has implemented to date General Recommendation XIII (42) concerning
training of law enforcement officials in the protection of human rights.
C. Concerns and recommendations
12. Noting that the report
of the State party refers to the "Muslim minority of Western Thrace",
and within this group to Turkish, Pomak and Roma groups, and not to
other ethnic groups in the country, the Committee draws the attention
of the State party to its General Recommendations VIII (38) on the right
of each person to self-identification and XXIV (55) concerning article
1 of the Convention in this regard.
13. The Committee encourages
the State party to build upon its education programmes at all levels
in order to counter negative stereotypes and promote the objectives
of the Convention. The Committee recommends that the State party take
into account the Committee's General Recommendation XXVII (57) concerning
Roma in further legal and policy initiatives.
14. The Committee encourages
the State party to pursue further its dialogues with representatives
of the Roma, Pomak, Albanian and other minority populations, with a
view to expanding as necessary the available range of multilingual educational
programmes and policies.
15. Recalling the repeal
in 1998 of article 19 of the Citizenship Code, and mindful of the clear
incompatibility of this repealed law with the Convention, the Committee
recommends that the State party explore and implement appropriate remedies,
including the possibility of reinstatement of citizenship, for the benefit
of persons deprived of their citizenship under article 19 in the past.
16. The Committee recommends
that the next periodic report provide information on the demographic
composition of the population.
17. The Committee recommends
that the State party include in its next periodic report statistics
on jurisprudence of cases where the relevant provisions of the Civil
and Penal Codes have found application.
18. The Committee recommends
that the State party take further measures to increase the awareness
of the principles of the Convention by law enforcement officials.
19. The Committee recommends
that the Convention, the State party's report and these concluding observations
be widely disseminated by the State party, including among minority
20. The Committee welcomes
the stated intention of the State party to make the declaration under
article 14 of the Convention as soon as possible, and encourages it
to take steps in that regard.
21. The Committee recommends
that the State party ratify the amendments to article 8, paragraph 6,
of the Convention which were adopted on 15 January 1992 at the Fourteenth
Meeting of States Parties.
22. The Committee recommends
that the State party submit its sixteenth periodic report jointly with
its seventeenth periodic report, due on 18 July 2003, and that it address
the points raised in the present observations.