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United Nations: Financial crisis causing Greece to fall behind on human rights obligations

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Pedestrians walk by a homeless man in Thessaloniki, Greece, Sunday, April 21. 2013. Under an international bailout deal that saved it from bankruptcy in 2010, Greece agreed to slash bloated budget deficits, repeatedly cutting pensions and salaries while hiking taxes. (AP Photo/Nikolas Giakoumidis) (The Associated Press)

A senior United Nations investigator says Greece is falling behind on its human rights obligations and strongly criticized the "excessively rigid" demands of the crisis-hit country's bailout program.

U.N. independent expert Cephas Lumina said Friday that a surge in unemployment and axed benefits had left a growing number of Greeks without health insurance and about 10 percent of the population living in "extreme poverty."

He said some 470,000 immigrants without proper residence permits were among the most vulnerable to labor exploitation and other abuses.

He urged Greece's bailout lenders — eurozone countries and the International Monetary Fund — to include human rights considerations in Greece's austerity programs.