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Optional protocolon the involvement of children in armed conflict, on the Sale of Children, Child Prostitution and Child Pornography
Corporal punishmentCorporal Punishment is prohibited.
Overview of the child rights situation

In Greece, children from minority groups or refugee children enjoy fewer rights than Greek children. Children with disabilities are also not fully accepted by society. Another major problem is the high level of poverty and the associated restrictions on health services.

Female genital mutilation and reproductive rights

The Committee urges Greece to enhance the availability of contraceptive services and promote sex education targeted at adolescents, with special attention to the prevention of early pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases.

Racism, children belonging to a minority and indigenous childrenWhile noting that efforts are made by the State party to ensure equal enjoyment of rights for Roma children, the Committee remains deeply concerned at the negative attitudes, prejudices and discrimination against children of minorities and in particular Roma children, especially with regard to disparities, poverty and their equal access to health, education, birth registration, housing, employment and a decent standard of living. The Committee is further concerned at the low rates of enrolment in and high rates of dropout from school, and segregation of Roma children in schools.
Situation of children with disabilities

The Committee notes that the State party has adopted laws and established services and institutions with the aim of supporting children with disabilities, promoting their social participation, including joint learning in schools, and developing their independence. However, the Committee remains concerned that deep-rooted discrimination still exists and that measures for children with disabilities are not carefully monitored, as well as that statistical data on children with disabilities in the State party is still unavailable. It is deeply concerned at the widespread use of institutionalization, which is mainly because of a lack of day-care and community services for children with the most serious forms of disabilities. The Committee is further deeply concerned about the recently reported case of the Children’s Care Centre in Lechaina, regarding children with disabilities living under inhumane and unacceptable conditions, including being systematically sedated and subject to practices such as being tied to their beds, and the use of cage beds due to a shortage of staff. Therefore, the Committee inter alia recommends to make every effort to provide programmes and services for children with disabilities with adequate human and financial resources and periodic monitoring of placement of children with disabilities, and to adopt, as a matter of priority, measures to ensure that no children with disabilities are placed under such inhumane conditions. Furthermore, placement in residential institutions should be the last resort, depending on the needs of the child.

Situation of asylum-seeking, refugee and migrant childrenThe Committee notes that, transposing the European Union directive on reception conditions, the Public Prosecutor for minors or, where not present, the competent First Instance Public Prosecutor, will act as a temporary guardian and will take all actions necessary for the appointment of a guardian for each asylum-seeking or refugee child, and that the State party’s legislation provides for the possibility of determining an individual’s age, when it is disputed, through medical examinations. The Committee also notes the programme initiated by the State party in cooperation with Frontex, on screening and briefing, aimed at the determination of age and nationality of asylum-seeking and refugee children. However, the Committee expresses its concern that the public prosecutors either are unable to assign the guardianship to a responsible person or agency, or transfer the guardianship to directors of the reception centres for minors, and that the duties of the temporary guardian are vague and unclear. The Committee calls upon Greece to introduce appropriate legislative amendments to the national legislation, to enable the establishment of a functional, substantial and effective guardianship system for unaccompanied and separated minors as well as ensure that unaccompanied asylum-seeking children are promptly appointed a legal representative in order to effectively gain access to the asylum procedure, as well as to assistance and protection, including access to free interpretation.
Free kindergartenYes
Free primary and secondary schoolNo
Digital possibilitiesThe Committee is concerned at the lack of information on measures taken to protect children from harmful information. The Committee is also concerned that the children living in the Muslim community of Thrace and also Roma children do not have adequate access to information and material from a diversity of national and international sources, including in the minority languages, aimed at the child’s development.
physical health

The Committee is concerned that the right to health and access to health services is not respected for all children, with regard to the fact that some health services have to be paid in cash and in advance.
The Committee recommends that the State party ensure that all children have access to health care. The Committee further recommends that the State party collect data on its basic national health indicators, and strengthen its health infrastructure, including through the recruitment of additional nurses and social workers. The Committee notes with concern the limited knowledge among adolescents about reproductive health; persistent problems of youth suicides, and alcohol, drug and tobacco use by adolescents in the State party.

Relation to other countries
Situation of juvenile justice

The Committee is concerned at the revelation of the identity of either victims or perpetrators of crimes in the media through the publication of data from the court records of cases involving minors, while their cases are being examined by court, and through the publication of images or information concerning the personal situation of children accommodated in child-protection institutions.

The Committee urges the State party to decriminalize begging by children while taking steps to ensure that such a change would not be exploited by adults who may use children to beg and to adopt specific legal provisions in order to provide protection for minors 15-18 years of age in the juvenile justice system. Greece should also conduct a thorough analysis of the overrepresentation of foreign and Roma children in the juvenile justice system and provide these children with the necessary legal safeguards.

Specific observations

The Committee notes that the recession and the current financial and economic crisis are taking their toll on families and on public social investment, including on the prospects of implementing the Convention, especially with regard to article 4 of the Convention. In this respect, the Committee reminds the State party that, in time of fiscal constraint, efforts must be made to sustain and expand social investment and social protection of those in the most vulnerable situations and to employ an equitable approach, giving priority to children.

The Committee notes that youth unemployment in the State party is running at 40 per cent, one of the highest rates in Europe, and rising as the economy rapidly shrinks, and that school drop-out rates are increasing among all children, but especially among Roma children, with uncertain development prospects for children neither in school nor working.

Additional background

Concluding observations on the second and third periodic reports released on 13 August 2012.More information about education in Greece:

Last Updated (date)23rd of February, 2022