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Universal Periodic Review Working Group – 11th Session
Universal Periodic Review of Greece
Statement by Australia
9 May 2011
Australia welcomes the delegation from Greece and appreciates its constructive engagement in the Universal Periodic Review process.
We congratulate the Government of Greece for the adoption of the Law 3304/2005 on equal treatment of individuals regardless of their racial or ethnic origin, religious or other beliefs, disability, age or sexual orientation. We also acknowledge recent legislation that addresses both direct and indirect gender discrimination.
We recognise efforts by the Government to address the concerns of the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture, in particular reports of severe overcrowding and inadequate prison conditions. We urge the Greek Government to continue efforts to establish prison conditions that comply with the provisions of the 1999 Prison Law, and to address concerns related to the conditions of migrants and asylum seekers.
We welcome the Government’s National Action Plan on Asylum Reform and Migration Management to address significant issues identified by the UNHCR.
We encourage the Government to address the concerns of NGO’s of mistreatment and abuse of undocumented members of ethnic minorities such as the Roma peoples. We are particularly concerned about reports of cases of Roma peoples being unable to register to vote.
Australia welcomes Greece’s commitment to target official corruption and increase transparency. We encourage further action to remove impediments to citizens’ right to access government-held information.
Australia recommends Greece:
1. Establish prison conditions that comply with the provisions of the 1999 Prison Law;
2. Continue to implement the National Action Plan on Asylum Reform and Migration Management to address legal and institutional shortcomings;
3. Ensure equal rights for minority citizens such as the Roma, particularly the right to vote; and
4. Take steps to improve transparency including by improving citizens’ rights to access government-held information.