UN expert in Athens to assess austerity impact on human rights

United Nations expert Cephas Lumina will visit Greece on Monday to assess the impact of austerity policies on the country’s human rights record.

It will be the first fact-finding mission to Greece by an independent expert designated by the United Nations Human Rights Council to inspect and report on the impact of the bailout agreements and related cost-cutting measures in the area of human rights.

“I will evaluate the impact of economic reforms agreed between the Government of Greece and the Troika (the European Union, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund) on the enjoyment of all human rights,” Lumina said in a statement.

He is expected to study reports of reduced access to basic social services, growing poverty, homelessness and growing far right extremism.

“Even in times of austerity basic social services need to be assured for all people in Greece, in particular, for the most vulnerable sectors of the population such as the poor, elderly, unemployed and persons with disabilities,” he said.

Lumina, who will stay in Greece until April 27, is scheduled to meet with senior government officials as well as MPs. He will also hold meetings with representatives of international organizations and human rights groups.

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