The Human Truth Foundation

Human Rights and Freedom in Greece

By Vexen Crabtree 2019


Comments:
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#christianity #equality #eu #freedom #Greece #human_rights #pastafarianism #politics #tolerance

Greece
Hellenic Republic

[Country Profile Page]
StatusIndependent State
CapitalAthens
Land Area 128 900km21
LocationEurope, Mediterranean, The Balkans
Population11.4m (2011)2
Life Expectancy81.07yrs (2017)3
GNI$24 808 (2017)4
ISO3166-1 CodesGR, GRC, 3005
Internet Domain.gr6
CurrencyEuro (EUR)7
Telephone+308

Greece does relatively well in ensuring human rights and freedom, compared to many other countries. Greece comes in the top 20 in commentary from Human Rights Watch9. It does better than average in opposing gender inequality10, LGBT equality11, supporting personal, civil & economic freedoms12, its nominal commitment to Human Rights13, fighting corruption14, its Global Peace Index rating15 and in supporting press freedom16. Greece does not succeed in everything, however. It does worse than average in eliminating modern slavery17. And finally, it falls into the bottom 20 in fighting anti-semitic opinions18. The state gives preferential treatment to the Orthodox Church, granting it both excessive funding and exclusive access to religious education in schools19. Blasphemy laws are used to protect Christian concepts at the expense of free debate, and are sometimes used to persecute odd minorities such as Pastafarians19,20.


1. Politics and Freedom

#antisemitism #burundi #corruption #eritrea #france #freedom #Greece #human_development #human_rights #indonesia #mass_media #peace #politics #slavery

The EU has acted on behalf of its member states on many occasions to support, foster, fund and encourage human rights protections in every region of the world, with agreement of its member states through the European Parliament. According to Human Rights Watch's comprehensive review for the year 2017, in addition to vocal and public pronouncements on poor human rights records of many countries, the EU has also acted through economic sanctions, political pressure and used other means to incentivize the adoption of human rights protections, even if these measures harm EU trading21. It is to Greece's credit that it supports the EU in these actions.

Anti-Semite Opinions (2014)18
Pos.Lower is better
%18
1Laos0
2Philippines3
3Sweden4
...
83Armenia58
84Malaysia61
85Turkey69
86Greece69
87Saudi Arabia74
88Egypt75
89Oman76
90Lebanon78
World Avg36.8
q=101.
Corruption (2012-2016)14
Pos.Higher is better
Avg Score14
1Denmark90.8
2New Zealand90.6
3Finland89.4
...
71Sao Tome & Principe42.8
72Macedonia42.2
73Solomon Islands42.0
74Greece41.8
75Senegal41.8
76Bulgaria41.4
77Brazil41.2
78Serbia40.8
World Avg43.05
q=176.
Global Peace Index (2012)15
Pos.Lower is better15
1Iceland1.11
2New Zealand1.24
3Denmark1.24
...
74Gambia1.96
75Gabon1.97
76Paraguay1.97
77Greece1.98
78Senegal1.99
79Peru2.00
80Nepal2.00
81Montenegro2.01
World Avg2.02
q=157.

Human Rights Watch Comments (2017)9
Pos.Higher is better
Score9
1UK9
2France9
3Germany9
...
8Finland6
9Luxembourg6
10Belgium6
11Greece5
12Cyprus5
13Czechia5
14Denmark5
15Romania5
World Avg-1.9
q=123.
Nominal Commitment to HR (2009)13
Pos.Higher is better
Treaties13
1Argentina24
2Chile23
3Costa Rica23
...
61Canada19
62Kazakhstan19
63Luxembourg19
64Greece19
65Ireland19
66Lithuania18
67Moldova18
68Kyrgyzstan18
World Avg15.1
q=194.
Personal, Civil & Economic Freedom (2014)12
Pos.Lower is better
Rank12
1Hong Kong1
2Switzerland2
3New Zealand3
...
46Panama46
47Mongolia47
48Bahamas48
49Greece48
50Albania50
51Seychelles51
52Israel52
53Peru53
World Avg79.7
q=159.

Press Freedom (2013)16
Pos.Lower is better16
1Finland638
2Netherlands648
3Norway652
...
80Lesotho2836
81Bhutan2842
82Togo2845
83Greece2846
84Kosovo2847
85Guinea2849
86Bulgaria2858
87Madagascar2862
World Avg3249
q=178.

In a landmark ruling in March, the ECtHR ordered Greece to pay some €600,000 in damages for failing to protect from forced labor 42 migrant strawberry pickers who were shot at by farm foremen in 2013 when they protested about unpaid wages.

"World Report 2018" by Human Rights Watch (2018)22

Slavery (2018)17
Pos.Lower is better
% Victims17
1Japan0.03
2Canada0.05
3Taiwan0.05
...
138Libya0.77
139Nigeria0.77
140Guinea0.78
141Greece0.79
142Congo, (Brazzaville)0.80
143Macedonia0.87
144Swaziland0.88
145Thailand0.89
World Avg0.65
q=167.

The taking of slaves has been an unwholesome feature of Human cultures since prehistory23. Private households and national endeavours have frequently been augmented with the use of slaves. The Egyptian and Roman empires both thrived on them for both purposes. Aside from labourers they are often abused sexually by their owners and their owners' friends24. The era of colonialism and the beginnings of globalisation changed nothing: the imprisonment and forced movements of labour continued to destroy many lives except that new justifications were invented based on Christian doctrine and the effort to convert non-Christians. By 1786 over 12 million slaves had been extracted from Africa and sent to colonial labour camps, with a truly atrocious condition of life25. But they were not the only ones to blame; in Africa internal nations such as the Asantes sold and bought tens of thousands of slaves26.

The abolition of the slave trade was a long and slow process. Until a relatively modern time, even philosophers, religious leaders and those concerned with ethics justified, or ignored, the problem of slavery27. The first abolitionists were always the slaves themselves. Their protests and rebellions caused the industry to become too expensive to continue. After that, it was the economic costs of maintain slave colonies that led the British to reject and then oppose the slave trade globally. Finally, the enlightenment-era thinkers of France encouraged moral and ethical thinking including the declaration of the inherent value of human life and human dignity28. A long-overdue wave of compassionate and conscientious movements swept across the West, eliminating public support for slavery, until the industries and churches that supported it had no choice but to back down.

'Modern slavery' includes forced labour (often of the under-age), debt bondage (especially generational), sexual slavery, chattel slavery and other forms of abuse, some of which can be surprisingly difficult to detect, but often target those fleeing from warzones and the vulnerable.29. Some industries (diamond, clothing, coal) from some countries (Burundi17, Eritrea17, Indonesia30) are a particular concern. The Walk Free Foundation, say that in 2016, 40.3 million people were living in modern slavery31.

2. Gender Equality

#gender #Greece #misogyny #politics #women

Gender Inequality (2015)10
Pos.Lower is better10
1Switzerland0.04
2Denmark0.04
3Netherlands0.04
...
20Israel0.10
21Japan0.12
22Cyprus0.12
23Greece0.12
24Australia0.12
25Lithuania0.12
26Ireland0.13
27Czechia0.13
World Avg0.36
q=159.

Gender inequality is not a necessary part of early human development. Although a separation of roles is almost universal due to different strengths between the genders, this does not have to mean that women are subdued, and, such patriarchialism is not universal in ancient history. Those cultures and peoples who shed, or never developed, the idea that mankind ought to dominate womankind, are better cultures and peoples than those who, even today, cling violently to those mores.

Year Women Can Vote32
Pos.Lower is better
Year32
1New Zealand1893
2Australia1902
3Finland1906
...
90St Vincent & Grenadines1951
91Bolivia1952
92Ivory Coast1952
93Greece1952
94Lebanon1952
95Guyana1953
96Mexico1953
97Bhutan1953
World Avg1930
q=189.

The 1950s saw a late rush of 43 countries, including Greece and many developing nations, move to cease preventing women from voting. Greece is on the way towards ending gender inequality.

See:

3. LGBT Equality and Tolerance

#equality #Greece #homosexuality #human_rights #intolerance #sexuality #tolerance

LGBT Equality (2017)11
Pos.Higher is better
Score11
1Netherlands103
2Belgium90
3Sweden86
...
41Serbia40
42Cyprus40
43Italy40
44Greece39
45Czechia39
46Slovakia39
47Romania39
48San Marino35
World Avg12.6
q=196.

Discrimination against Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) folk is rife across the world. Legal restrictions co-exist alongside social stigmatisation and physical violence33. LGBT tolerance and equal rights have been fought for country-by-country across the world, often against tightly entrenched cultural and religious opposition. Adult consensual sexual activity is a Human Right, protected by privacy laws34. Despite this, homosexual activity is outlawed in around 80 countries33. The Social & Moral LGBT Equality Index was created to compare countries and regions, granting points to each country for a variety of factors including how long gay sex has been criminalized and the extent of LGBT legal rights. Graded negative points are given for criminality of homosexuality, unequal ages of consent, legal punishments and for not signing international accords on LGBT tolerance. The signs in many developed countries are positive, and things are gradually improving. Europe is by far the least prejudiced region (Scandinavia in particular being exemplary). The Middle East and then Africa are the least morally developed, where cultural bias goes hand-in-hand with state intolerance, all too often including physical violence.

4. Greece Overall National and Social Development

#Greece #human_development

Social & Moral
Development Index
35
Pos.Higher is better
Points35
1Denmark84.0
2Sweden83.9
3Finland83.5
...
38Costa Rica64.8
39Slovakia64.1
40Lithuania63.9
41Greece62.9
42Bulgaria62.3
43Maldives62.2
44Croatia62.2
45Mauritius61.3
46Barbados61.1
World Avg53.8
q=198.

The Social and Moral Development Index concentrates on moral issues and human rights, violence, public health, equality, tolerance, freedom and effectiveness in climate change mitigation and environmentalism, and on some technological issues. A country scores higher for achieving well in those areas, and for sustaining that achievement in the long term. Those countries towards the top of this index can truly said to be setting good examples and leading humankind onwards into a bright, humane, and free future. See: What is the Best Country in the World? An Index of Morality, Conscience and Good Life.

5. Freedom of Belief and Religion

#christianity #Greece #pastafarianism

"The constitution and other laws and policies protect freedom of religion or belief. However, antiblasphemy laws and state sponsorship of religion exist"19, which creates natural prejudice and legal discrimination against other (non-Christian communities). The Orthodox Church has its clergy's salaries and training paid for by the state and it forces most children to either undergo Orthodox religious education (RE), or, no RE at all19. Blasphemy laws are used exclusively to protect Christian concepts from ridicule, but are also used to persecute minorities and oddities such as Pastafarians19,20.

Greece still suffers from its historical era of Christian dominance. In 2012 three actors were arrested for playing parts in a play that featured a gay Jesus and the European Humanist Federation and Greek Helsinki Monitor are worried that "blasphemy laws allowing fines and imprisonment may lead to prosecution or have a deterrent effect on journalists, academics, artists and other citizens which may amount to self-censorship"20.

The International Humanist and Ethical Union produced a report in 2012 entitled "Freedom of Thought" (2012)19, in which they document bias and prejudice at the national level that is based on religion, belief and/or lack of belief. Their entry for Greece states:

The constitution and other laws and policies protect freedom of religion or belief. However, antiblasphemy laws and state sponsorship of religion exist. Article 198 of the Greek Penal Code states that "1. One who publicly and maliciously and by any means blasphemes God shall be punished by imprisonment for not more than two years; 2. Anyone, except as described in par.1, who displays publicly with blasphemy a lack of respect for things divine, is punished with up to 3 months in prison. " Article 199 states that "one who publicly and maliciously and by any means blasphemes the Greek Orthodox Church or any other religion tolerable in Greece shall be punished by imprisonment for not more than two years." Similarly, the country outlaws any speech or acts that "insults public sentiment" or "offends people's religious sentiments."

The government financially supports the Orthodox Church; for example, the government pays for the salaries and religious training of clergy, finances the maintenance of Orthodox Church buildings, and exempts from tax Orthodox Church's revenues from properties it owns. Orthodox religious instruction in primary and secondary schools, at government expense, is mandatory for all students, although non-Orthodox students may exempt themselves. However, public schools offer no alternative activity or non-Orthodox religious instruction for these children.

Cases of Discrimination

On June 9th, 2012, three actors in the play "Corpus Christi" were arrested with the charge of blasphemy following a lawsuit filed by Greek Orthodox Bishop Seraphim of Piraeus. Then, in November, the Athens public prosecutor charged the organizers, producers and cast of the play with blasphemy. If convicted, they could face several months in prison. According to newspaper reports, Bishop Seraphim was accompanied to court by members of the neo-Nazi Golden Dawn party.

In late September, 2012, a man was arrested in Evia, Greece, on charges of posting "malicious blasphemy and religious insult on the known social networking site, Facebook". The accused, 27-year-old Phillipos Loizos, had created a Facebook page for "Elder Pastitsios the Pastafarian", playing on a combination of Elder Paisios, the late Greek-Orthodox monk revered as a prophet by some, and the Greek food pastitsio, a baked pasta dish made of ground beef and béchamel sauce. "Pastafarian" refers to the spoof religion of the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, itself an intentional pun on aspects of Creationism. A manipulated image on the Facebook page depicted Elder Pastitsios with a pastitsio where the monk's face would normally appear.

"Freedom of Thought" by IHEU (2012)19

Current edition: 2019 Jan 13
http://www.humantruth.info/greece_human_rights_and_freedom.html
Parent page: Greece (Hellenic Republic)

All #tags used on this page - click for more:

#antisemitism #burundi #christianity #corruption #equality #eritrea #eu #france #freedom #gender #Greece #homosexuality #human_development #human_rights #indonesia #intolerance #mass_media #misogyny #pastafarianism #peace #politics #sexuality #slavery #tolerance #women

Social Media

References: (What's this?)

Book Cover

Anti-Defamation League. (ADL)
(2014) ADL Global 100, Executive Summary. Accessed on global100.adl.org on 2017 Jan 02. The numbers given are of those who state that racist stereotyped statements about Jews are true; they have to agree to 6 or more of the 11 statements to be counted. An example statements is "Jews are hated because of the way they behave". The data was collected from 53,100 interviews across 101 countries plus the West Bank and Gaza. The global average is 26%.

Casely-Hayford, Gus
(2012) The Lost Kingdoms of Africa. Published by Bantram Press. A hardback book.

Crabtree, Vexen
(2019) "What is the Best Country in the World? An Index of Morality, Conscience and Good Life" (2019). Accessed 2019 Jan 13.

Donnelly, Jack
(2013) Universal Human Rights in Theory and Practice. 3rd edition. Published by Cornell University Press.

The Fraser Institute
(2016) The Human Freedom Index. Published by The Cato Institute, The Fraser Institute and the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom. Covers data up to 2014. On www.fraserinstitute.org/.../human-freedom-index-2016.

Human Rights Watch
(2018) World Report 2018. Covering the events of 2017.

IHEU. International Humanist and Ethical Union.
(2012) Freedom of Thought. A copy can be found on iheu.org/...Freedom of Thought 2012.pdf, accessed 2013 Oct 28.

Klein, Naomi
(2004) No Logo. Originally published 2000, HarperCollins, London, UK. A paperback book.

McCall, Andrew
(1979) The Medieval Underworld. 2004 edition. Published by Sutton Publishing. A paperback book.

NSS. The National Secular Society, London, UK.
Newsline. Weekly news letter. See: "Secularism" by Vexen Crabtree (2011).

Thomson, Oliver
(1993) A History of Sin. Published by Canongate Press. A hardback book.

United Nations
(2011) Human Development Report. Published by the UN Development Programme. This edition had the theme of Sustainability and Equity: A Better Future for All. Available on hdr.undp.org/... UN Development Program: About the Human Development Index.
(2017) Human Development Report. Published by the UN Development Programme. Data for 2015. Available on hdr.undp.org/.

Walk Free Foundation
(2018) Global Slavery Index. Published on www.walkfreefoundation.org/.

Footnotes

  1. World Bank data on data.worldbank.org accessed 2013 Nov 04.^
  2. UN (2011) .^
  3. UN (2017). Table 1.^
  4. UN (2017). Gross National Income, per person. Table 1.^
  5. International Standards Organisation (ISO) standard ISO3166-1, on www.iso.org, accessed 2013 May 01.^
  6. Top level domains (TLDs) are managed by the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) on www.iana.org.^
  7. According to ISO4217.^
  8. According to ITU-T.^
  9. Human Rights Watch (2018). Negative and positive comments have been added to create a score for each country covered in the report.^^
  10. UN (2017). Table 5. Lower is better.^^
  11. Sources:^^
  12. Fraser Institute, the (2016). Covers data for 2014.^^
  13. Max possible=24. Total amount of treaties ratified. Nominal Commitment to Human Rights report published by UCL School of Public Policy, London, UK, at ucl.ac.uk/spp/research/research-projects/nchr accessed 2011 Apr 30.^^
  14. Transparency International Corruption Perceptions Index (2017). Accessed 2017 Dec 30. The scores given are the TI average for the years 2012-2016.^^
  15. ^^
  16. Reporters Without Borders Report "2013 World Press Freedom Index: Dashed hopes after spring" at fr.rsf.org/.../classement_2013_gb-bd.pdf accessed 2013 Feb.^^
  17. Walk Free Foundation (2018) .^^
  18. ADL (2014). Lower is better.^^
  19. IHEU (2012) .^^
  20. Newsline (2012 Jul 27). Report based on a joint statement by the European Humanist Federation and Greek Helsinki Monitor.^^
  21. Human Rights Watch (2018) .^
  22. Human Rights Watch (2018). p221-222.^
  23. Thomson (1993). p28.^
  24. McCall (1979). p180.^
  25. Thomson (1993). p166.^
  26. Casely-Hayford (2012). p253.^
  27. Thomson (1993). p31.^
  28. Thomson (1993). p199.^
  29. Thomson (1993). p28-29.^
  30. Klein (2004) .^
  31. Walk Free Foundation (2018). p2.^
  32. "What is the Best Country in the World? An Index of Morality, Conscience and Good Life: 2.9. Women Stand for Election & Vote" by Vexen Crabtree (2019)^
  33. Donnelly (2013). Chapter 16 "Nondiscrimination for All: The Case of Sexual Minorities" p278.^
  34. Donnelly (2013). Chapter 16 "Nondiscrimination for All: The Case of Sexual Minorities" p289. According to a 1992 ruling of the Human Rights Committee, which declared that 'it is undisputed that adult consensual sexual activity in private is covered by the concept of privacy' when discussing Article 17 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. See Human Rights Committee, Communication 488/1992, paragraph 8.2.^
  35. "What is the Best Country in the World? An Index of Morality, Conscience and Good Life" by Vexen Crabtree (2019)^

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