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The EU Anti-trafficking Coordinator Office operates at the Foreign Ministry and reports directly to the European Commissioner for Migration.
Human Trafficking is one of the most heinous forms of organized crime and violation of human rights in Europe and the world, and Greece expresses its strong concern at the upward trend and multidimensional nature of this criminal phenomenon, which victimizes men, women and children. Traffickers take into account neither borders, laws nor national prejudices. Their objective is profit, and they traffic in human beings. Whether through abduction or fraud, they deceive desperate people whose dream of being freed from poverty is transformed into the worst of nightmares.
Trafficking assaults human dignity, flagrantly violates fundamental human rights, erodes conscience, thus fomenting corruption, undermines international security and development, and creates vast revenues for organized crime. The global economic crisis has resulted in a spike in this phenomenon in the form of forced labor, whereby the victim himself “accepts” his situation due to the lack of substantial choices and ways out of poverty.
To effectively combat human trafficking, the EU member states were called upon to adopt and implement the new European Directive 2011/36 (EU Directive on Trafficking in Human Beings) and the 2012-2016 EU Strategy towards the eradication of Trafficking in Human Beings, which derives from the Directive and ensures coordinated EU action. Greece participated in the formulation of this new European Directive, which was incorporated into the national legislative framework via Law 4198/2013 (GG 215A’/2013 – On Prevention and Combating of Human Trafficking and Protection of the Victims of Trafficking).
In implementation of EU Directive 2011/36, as well as of the relevant, ratified conventions of the Council of Europe (The Council of Europe Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings) and the United Nations (The UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime and its Protocols – the “Palermo Protocol”), the Greek Foreign Ministry performs the role of National Coordinator, through the Office of the National Rapporteur on Trafficking in Human Beings. The objective is for our country to be among the leading players in the international campaign against Human Trafficking.
The Office of the National Rapporteur on Trafficking in Human Beings capitalizes on cooperation with state and non-governmental organizations active in the combating of Human Trafficking, is implementing a comprehensive and multi-sector National Action Plan, and coordinates actions for the Prevention of human Trafficking, Protection of and Care for victims, and crackdown on the crime.
The Office of the National Rapporteur on Trafficking in Human Beings was established by Law 4198/2013, which formalizes the role that was played unofficially by the Foreign Ministry’s Coordinating Mechanism, in collaboration with officials of co-competent ministries, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and certified NGOs, so as to guarantee cooperation and networking with international organizations, fulfilment of commitments undertaken, and the necessary harmonization of national actions and policies with internationally recognized best practices for eradicating human trafficking.
The Office of the National Rapporteur participates in the Network of the EU National Rapporteurs, which meets regularly in Brussels, as well as in the Networks operating within the framework of the UN, the OSCE, the Council of Europe, and other international organizations.
The principal obligations provided for under the legal framework for the operation of the Office of the National Rapporteur on Trafficking in Human Beings (Law 4198/2013) concern: a) the institutionalization of a National Reporting Framework for the coordination of all agencies involved in the identification, referral and care of victims, b) the institutionalization of a National Database for benefiting victims and for prosecution of traffickers, c) training of co-competent agencies through training programmes, d) mounting of campaigns for raising public awareness and limiting “demand” for services or products coming from victims of Trafficking in Human Beings.
The competencies of the National Rapporteur also include the drawing up of reports with statistical data and assessments regarding new trends, based on which the National Rapporteur recommends measures for confronting human trafficking more effectively.