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Georgopoulos and ors. v. Greece

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Georgopoulos and ors. v. Greece

Court/Judicial Body:
Human Rights Committee

Communication No. 1799/2008

20 July 2010

Instruments Cited:
International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights
Art. 17: right to privacy, family and home
Art. 23: protection of the family
Art. 27: protection of ethnic, religious and linguistic minorities

Mr. Georgopoulos and his wife, Ms. Georgopoulou complained on their behalf and the behalf of their seven children that they had been evicted from their homes twice, in violation of their rights under the ICCPR. In their complaint, they alleged that their rights to privacy, family, home and special protection as a minority had been violated. The family lived in a Roma settlement in the municipality of Patras. The family had initially successfully attained a court order protecting them from eviction, but the municipality demolished their home while they were temporarily at another location. When the family tried to rebuild their home, the municipality threatened to arrest them and again demolished the property.

The Human Rights Committee held that the State had violated the family’s rights to privacy, family, home and special protection as a minority as well as in providing insufficient methods of redress for the violations. In reaching this decision, the Committee stressed the State’s delay in investigating the family’s allegations of criminal action in the demolition, the substantial documentary evidence that the eviction was carried out unlawfully and the absence of a legal remedy to address the alleged illegality.

The Committee did not consider the family’s complaint that their treatment was degrading within the meaning of the article 7 prohibition on cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment, but in an individual opinion, Mr. Salvioli suggested that this article would be fertile ground for future cases.

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This case summary is provided by the Child Rights International Network for educational and informational purposes and should not be construed as legal advice.

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