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8th Conference of States Parties to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities: National statement of Greece

Wednesday, 10 June 2015

Eighth Conference of State Parties
to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
9-11 June 2015
General Debate

Statement by
H.E. Ambassador Ms Nafsika Nancy Eva Vraila
Deputy Permanent Representative of Greece to the United Nations

NEW YORK
Tuesday, 9 June 2015

Check against delivery

8th session of the Conference of States Parties to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, 9-11 June 2015

Mr. Chair,

Greece aligns itself with the statement of the EU. Furthermore, I would like to make a few comments in my national capacity.

People with disabilities are confronted with a multiple forms of discrimination, which affects their full enjoyment of life in society. One out of six Europeans experiences some form of disability. This means that 80 million people in Europe cannot actively participate in the economic and social life. In Greece disabled people make up 10% of the population.

Greece, despite economic and financial constraints, has already signed and ratified the CRPD and its Optional Protocol (2012) and is working on the implementation of the conventional obligations. Greece recently, submitted its first Report on the implementation of the Convention to the Committee on the Rights of People with Disabilities.

In recent years, especially after CRDP entered into force in Greece, the rights of persons with disabilities were incorporated into a national comprehensive approach of inclusion, promotion and protection of all human rights. Consequently, ‘persons with disabilities’ were integrated into the first National Action Plan (2014-2016) on Human Rights as a Separate Chapter.

Attaching major significance to social integration, Greece prepared in December 2014 the framework for the National Strategy for Social Inclusion, which is expected to address the lack of coordination, fragmentation and mismanagement, which lead to low effectiveness and low efficiency. This Strategy is going to select target groups, inter alia, people with disabilities.

In the same line, the competent authorities are elaborating the development of a mechanism (at national and regional level) that will effectively monitor the implementation of policies relating to inclusion, protection and social cohesion.

Additionally, I would like to underscore that the Greek Parliament adopted a law prohibiting any kind of discrimination or harassment to all persons, including the disabled in the field of Labour and Employment, either in the private or civil sector.

With regard to the involvement of persons with disabilities in consultation processes, relative legislation provides for the participation of the National Confederation of Disabled People in the National Employment Committee and the National Committee for Social Protection, which functions under the auspices of the Ministry of Labour, Social Security and Social Solidarity.

We would also like to note that, with a view to ensuring the principle of equal treatment, notices of vacancies are published for persons of specific groups, including Persons with Disabilities, as well as their relatives.  At the same time, special protection against dismissal is established for Persons with Disabilities.

Additionally, in line with the requirements of social inclusion, a program for “Supported Living Houses” has been a priority with the aim at supporting families and developing an alternative way of life for people with mental impairment who are at risk of institutionalization and social exclusion.

Furthermore, the “Creative Activities Centers for Disabled Children” provide innovative activities and units for children with disabilities. This program safeguards family solidarity, reconciles family and professional life and prepares the integration of children and adolescents with disabilities in social and economic life.

Special mention should be made to the National Institute for the Deaf People that aims, primarily, at the early diagnosis of deafness and hearing loss, providing special care, education and any kind of assistance and secondly, at the occupational rehabilitation of the deaf people, through training. Respectively, there is the Centre for Education and Rehabilitation for the Blind, which has as main objectives the education and training of blind children, especially their independence and gradual social integration.

Mr. President,

Finally, we would like to point out that Greece, within its limited economic resources, applies its social policy, believing that the promotion and the protection of Human Rights is inalienably enjoyable to all. Let us never forget that a country's civilization index is associated with the way people with disabilities are treated.

Thank you

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