Austerity curbed human rights in Greece, report says

Austerity measures adopted as a result of the economic crisis have adversely impacted human rights, including the rights to work and health, noted a report released on Thursday by the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH). The report was published together with the Hellenic League for Human Rights (HLHR).

Based on research conducted in January this year, the report noted that national and international institutions, including the EU and its member states, had ignored the impact that certain policies were bound to have on society during the crisis.

The report’s conclusions reach beyond Greece, and apply to other south European states that have been assisted financially due to the recession.

Strict targets for deficit and debt reduction set by the country’s lenders were accomplished through cuts to public expenditure, including in the healthcare sector, “without any consideration for the need to preserve minimum levels and meet minimum core obligations with respect to those rights,” said the report.

Meeting financial targets also led to major cuts in the public sector’s employment as well as to unemployment in general.

The report also highlighted the rise of neo-Nazi Golden Dawn and the government’s decision to shut down public broadcaster ERT in summer 2013.