Last Updated: Monday, 20 November 2017, 16:41 GMT

Greece: Treatment of gay men in prison; availability of protection against abuse (January 2000 - March 2006)

Publisher Canada: Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada
Author Research Directorate, Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, Ottawa
Publication Date 3 March 2006
Citation / Document Symbol GRC101042.E
Reference 2
Cite as Canada: Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, Greece: Treatment of gay men in prison; availability of protection against abuse (January 2000 - March 2006), 3 March 2006, GRC101042.E, available at: [accessed 21 November 2017]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

Information on the treatment of gay men in Greek prisons could not be found among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate. However, Article 3 of the Correctional Code (ratified by Law 2776/1999) (Greece 5 Apr. 2004, Par. 372) provides for "the equal treatment of prisoners and ... the prohibition of discrimination" (ibid., Para. 373).

Various human rights organizations have indicated that conditions in Greek prisons can be characterized as exceeding capacity (ICPS 16 Dec. 2004), overcrowded (UN 25 Apr. 2005, Sec. 12; Freedom House 2005; IHF 27 June 2005), and substandard (ibid.; UN 25 Apr. 2005). In response to questions from the United Nations (UN) Human Rights Committee, a delegate representing the Greek government acknowledged the problem of overcrowding in Greek prisons, but stated that conditions were "bad" only in specific prisons, particularly in or around Athens (UN 23 Mar. 2005). The Greek government has also stated that improvements are being made, including the construction of new correctional facilities that, once completed, aim to eliminate the problem of overcrowding (Greece 5 Apr. 2004, Para. 425; COE 7 Apr. 2005).

This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the Research Directorate within time constraints. This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim for refugee protection. Please find below the list of additional sources consulted in researching this Information Request.


Council of Europe (COE). 7 April 2005. "Interim Resoluation ResDH (2005)...Concerning the Issue of Conditions of Detention in Greece, Raised in the Cases of Dougoz Against Greece (Judgement of 6 March 2001, Final on 6 June 2001) and Peers Against Greece (Judgement of 19 April 2001)." [Accessed 3 Mar. 2006]

Freedom House. 2005. "Greece." Freedom in the World 2005. [Accessed 2 Mar. 2006]

Greece. 5 April 2004. In United Nations. Human Rights Committee. Consideration of Reports Submitted by States Parties Under Article 40 of the Covenant. Initial Report: Greece. (CCPR/C/GRC/2004/1) [Accessed 3 Mar. 2006]

International Centre for Prison Studies (ICPS). 16 December 2004. "Prison Brief for Greece." [Accessed 2 Mar. 2006]

International Helsinki Federation for Human Rights (IHF). 27 June 2005. "Greece." Human Rights in the OSCE Region: Europe, Central Asia and North America, Report 2005 (Events of 2004). [Accessed 1 Mar. 2006]

United Nations (UN). 25 April 2005. Human Rights Committee. "Concluding Observations of the Human Rights Committee: Greece." Consideration of Reports Submitted by States Parties Under Article 40 of the Covenant. [Accessed 2 Mar. 2006]
_____. 23 March 2005. Human Rights Committee. "Human Rights Committee Concludes Review of Report by Greece." [Accessed 3 Mar. 2006]

Additional Sources Consulted

Neither the Greek Helsinki Monitor, the Hellenic Homosexual Community (EOK), nor the International Lesbian and Gay Association (ILGA) responded to requests for information within time contraints.

Internet Sites, including: Amnesty International (AI), Athens News, British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), Eastern and Orthodox Christian Gay Men and Women, European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI), European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT), European Country of Origin Information Network (ECOI), European Network Male Prostitution (ENMP), Global Gayz, Greek Helsinki Monitor, Greek Ombudsman, Hellenic Homosexual Community (EOK), Human Rights Watch (HRW), International Corrections and Prisons Association (ICPA), International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC), International Lesbian and Gay Association (ILGA), Kathimerini, Observatoire international des prisons (OIP), Prisons de femmes en Europe, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL), Sodomy Laws, United States Department of State.

Copyright notice: This document is published with the permission of the copyright holder and producer Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (IRB). The original version of this document may be found on the offical website of the IRB at Documents earlier than 2003 may be found only on Refworld.

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