The Diotima Centre is again this year participating in the awareness campaign of the Office of the National Rapporteur on Combating Trafficking in Persons (NCPT) against human exploitation and trafficking “Break the Chain”.
With the aim of combating all aspects of modern slavery or human trafficking, the campaign aims through diverse actions to inform all citizens about this multifactorial phenomenon of the modern world.
Definition of the phenomenon
It is worth noting that, according to Directive 2011/36/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of Europe, trafficking in human beings is “the recruitment, transportation, harboring or receipt of persons, by means of the threat or use of force or other means of coercion, of abduction, of fraud, of deception, of the abuse of power or of a position of the vulnerability of the victim or of the giving or receiving of payments to achieve the consent of a person having authority over another person, for the purpose of exploitation”.
The term ‘exploitation’ includes, but is not limited to, forced prostitution or other forms of sexual exploitation, forced labor or services – including forced begging, slavery, or similar practices, but also the removal of organs.
Human trafficking is currently the third largest organized crime worldwide, with an estimated annual turnover of around €24 billion. It has been estimated that 21 million people are trafficked every year, of which 800,000 are trafficked within the European Union.
The main causes are both the marked social inequalities within the global division of labor and the high demand for cheap, flexible labor (labor trafficking) and human consumer products (sex trafficking).
Protection of victims
The Diotima Centre, emphasizing the issues of trafficking of women in the sex industry and forced prostitution (sex trafficking), as well as the illegal work of women in the domestic labor/care sector, strives, with all its means, to highlight the gender dimension of trafficking.
In this context, the Centre has for years been developing actions to support victims of human trafficking and highlights at every opportunity the shortcomings of the legislative framework in terms of prosecuting perpetrators and supporting victims. It also highlights the administrative distortions that result in the re-victimization of women and expose them to further risks.
Furthermore, the Centre stresses the need to recognize that the protection of victims is a key prerequisite for them to have the incentive to report their exploitation, as the extremely low number of underreporting of trafficking cases remains a key problem – especially as criminal proceedings require victims to make sworn statements.
Furthermore, it should not be overlooked that many women are under a precarious residence status in the country, and their protection from gender-based violence should not be a burden.
Break the Chain Campaign
The aim of the event is to include Greece among the protagonists in the international campaign against human trafficking and to integrate the country’s actions so far into a comprehensive plan against human trafficking and poverty. In particular, it is necessary:
a) the establishment of a National Reference System for the coordination of all stakeholders in the identification, referral, and assistance of victims
b) the establishment of a National Database for the victims and for the prosecution of traffickers
c) the training of relevant actors through training programs
d) the implementation of campaigns for social awareness and the reduction of the “Demand” for services or products coming from victims of human trafficking.
In addition, this plan should take into account the guidelines of the recent report carried out for the first time this year in Greece by the Council of Europe’s Group of Experts on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings (GRETA), which highlights, among other things, the lack of a national strategy for identifying victims and perpetrators in a number of labor sectors, such as agriculture, tourism or domestic work, as well as against asylum seekers, migrants, and unaccompanied children.