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05ATHENS589 2005-03-01 17:22:00 UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Embassy Athens
Cable title:  

GREECE PART 1: FIFTH ANNUAL TIP REPORT SUBMISSION

Tags:   KCRM PHUM KWMN SMIG KFRD ASEC PREF ELAB GR TIP 
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					  UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 08 ATHENS 000589 

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE

DEPARTMENT FOR USAID
FOR G, INL, DRL, PRM, IWI,
FOR EUR/PGI AND EUR/SE PARENTE AND YOUNTCHI
FOR G/TIP DONNELLY
FOR INL/CTR

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: KCRM PHUM KWMN SMIG KFRD ASEC PREF ELAB GR TIP
SUBJECT: GREECE PART 1: FIFTH ANNUAL TIP REPORT SUBMISSION

REF: A. 2004 STATE 273089


B. ATHENS 415

C. 04 ATHENS 2662

D. 3/1 GRISSETTE/DONNELLY EMAIL

E. THESSALONIKI 007

F. 04 ATHENS 3071

G. 04 ATHENS 2199



1. The following is Sensitive but Unclassified. Please
Protect Accordingly.



2. (SBU) Below are Embassy Athens' responses to the Fifth
TIP report questionnaire. Text is keyed to requests under
"Overview" and "Prevention."



--------------------------


Overview


--------------------------





A. Greece is a destination country for international
trafficking, mainly in women and children. There are no/no
reliable estimates of the problem. In November 2004 an
academic observer estimated there were 13,000 victims of sex
trafficking (women and teenage girls) but many observers
believe that these estimates are high. The same academic
observer estimated there were 20,000 victims in 2003.
Anti-child trafficking NGOs estimate - roughly - that
hundreds of children, mainly Roma from Albania, are victims
of labor trafficking. The primary anti-child trafficking NGO
reported that of 173 children it identified begging in the
streets of four major Greek cities in the first 11 months of
2004, 22 were victims of trafficking. There are sporadic
reports of labor trafficking of adult men, generally from
South Asia, in the greater context of illegal migration to
work in the agriculture sector. There are reports that
Greece is also a transit country for trafficking, with
victims being trafficked on to Italy and other EU countries,
as well to the Middle East.



B. Persons are trafficked to Greece from all over the world,
but NGOs and police agree that most victims are women from
former Soviet states and the Balkans. In 2004 the Hellenic
Police reported TIP victims were identified from Russia (50
victims), Ukraine (21), Belarus (8), Moldova (10), Bulgaria
(10), Romania (41), and Albania (9). Smaller numbers of
trafficking victims were identified from the following
countries: Dominican Republic (1), Armenia (1), Austria (1),
Georgia (2), Ghana (1), Greece (2), Eritrea (1), U.K. (3),
Lithuania (4), Morocco (1), Nigeria (3), the Netherlands (2),
Uzbekistan (5), Poland (1), Thailand (1) and the Czech
Republic (3). Child trafficking victims are almost
exclusively Roma from Albania trafficked for labor, or
teenage girls trafficked for commercial sexual exploitation.
Anecdotal reports on labor trafficking involve trafficking of
adult men - undocumented migrants - from South Asia, the
Balkans, and Eastern Europe.



C. The child trafficking phenomenon continues to diminish,
according to NGO and police officials. The past practice of
Albanian parents "renting" or "selling" their children to
traffickers has dramatically decreased according to NGOs and
police as it has become easier for Albanian parents to
emigrate to the country. Child anti-trafficking NGOs report
that as a result of immigrant legalizations, many previous
child TIP victims are now legally resident in Greece and are
exploited for labor by relatives or purported relatives. The
primary child anti-trafficking NGO reported that at least 50
percent of exploited Albanian children they detected during
street work between September 2003 and December 2004 were in
Greece along with both of their natural parents.

Police and NGOs agree that there are fewer sex-trafficking
victims entering Greece from trafficking source countries
without legal documentation, that is to say, more victims now
enter Greece with visas and sometimes also possess work
permits. This complicates their identification as victims
and removes the TIP screening that may occur when illegal
immigrants are arrested on immigration or prostitution
violations. Police and NGOs also agree that incidences of
sex-trafficking victims being held in abject slave-like
conditions have decreased; women are more often given small
amounts of money and are less frequently kept locked in
confinement.

NGOs, IOM, and police report the increasing trend of West
African, especially Nigerian, illegal immigrants/ prostitutes
who are reportedly under a "spell" which means they either
will not or can not speak to either police or NGOs and refuse
assistance offered to them as possible TIP victims. There
were additional reports of Nigerian women who, when applying
for refugee status, identified their white male benefactors
and travel facilitators as "friends" whom they did not work
for. For these reasons, it remains unclear to the Greek
authorities and NGOs whether or not these subjects are TIP
victims.

A final trend that surfaced in 2004 is that of young pregnant
women, sometimes from Bulgaria, who arrive in Greece in order
to sell their newborn babies. Police dismantled rings of
such so-called "baby-selling" operations in Athens and Crete
during 2004 and arrested traffickers and at least one Greek
couple who had attempted to purchase a baby. As the trends
and methods of trafficking change, police and NGOs agree that
the phenomenon has become more difficult to track and that
increasingly savvy traffickers remain "one step ahead" of
anti-TIP efforts.



D. Ambassador received a commitment from the Ministry of
Health on February 7 to undertake research into the magnitude
of the TIP problem in order to track trends (Ref B). After
dialogue on the issue with MFA, Post passed guidance from
G/TIP on methodology used in U.S. studies on trafficking on
February 9. The MFA has since entered into consultation with
an academic on the subject, and we will continue to encourage
completion of a survey or study.



E. Women are trafficked to bars, brothels, and strip clubs;
children are trafficked to beg in the streets of major
cities. In 2003, labor unions, media and police reported
that South Asian and other migrants are forced to pay off
debts in flower farms and other agricultural work. According
to victim testimony, NGOs, and police, TIP victims are
subjected to violence, threats, withholding of documents, and
debt bondage. An IOM representative reported in 2005 that he
believes the practice of debt bondage persists, though there
is no current information on this practice available.



F. Not applicable - Greece is not a country of origin for
TIP victims.



G. There is political will at the highest levels of
government to combat trafficking in persons. In November,
Greece appointed Ambassador Frangiskos Verros from the
Ministry of Foreign Affairs as the National Coordinator for
Anti-Trafficking. Nine Secretaries General (of Foreign
Affairs; Justice; Public Order; Health and Social Solidarity;
Interior, Public Administration and Decentralization;
Employment and Social Protection; Education and Religious
Affairs; Economy and Finance and Equality) comprise an
inter-ministerial coordinating committee that meets at least
twice per month (the last meeting was February 8, 2005) to
coordinate work for the implementation of the 2002
anti-trafficking law and the 2003 Presidential Decree.
Secretary General of the Ministry of Justice, Panayiotis

SIPDIS
Panouris, co-chairs the meetings with Ambassador Verros. The
Justice Minister and Secretary General Panouris spoke
publicly about Greece,s commitment to fight trafficking at
two recent conferences. The Ministers of Justice, Foreign
Affairs, Health, Interior, Public Order, and the Mayor of
Athens, among others, have discussed TIP with Ambassador on
numerous occasions. There is willingness to prosecute police
incriminated in TIP (See Prosecution - K). High-level GOG
officials have not been implicated in TIP rings as they have
in some Balkan countries. In December, the need to protect
and assist TIP victims was raised in Parliament by an
opposition MP (See Prosecution - D).

Overview of GoG resources devoted to prevention: The
coordinating committee produced the August 2004 National
Action Plan to Fight Trafficking, which assigns specific
anti-TIP responsibilities to each ministry (detailed in
Prevention - J). The MFA doubled its 2004 budget for
anti-trafficking projects to 3.1 million euros, much of which
has gone to NGOs. Anti-TIP NGOs carry out public awareness
campaigns, street work, cooperation with source country NGOs,
research, and lobbying, among other activities (See
Prevention section).

Overview of GoG resources devoted to prosecution: The
first conviction under the new trafficking law occurred in
January. The GoG sponsored a number of seminars and
trainings on TIP for police, judges, and prosecutors. Law
enforcement participated in multinational, region-wide
anti-trafficking efforts. Two special prosecutors have been
assigned "the handling of the trafficking phenomenon" (Ref
C). At the February 8 inter-ministerial meeting on
trafficking, it was reportedly decided to give additional
prosecutors outside of Athens responsibility for handling
trafficking cases (See Prosecution section).

Overview of GoG resources devoted to protection: The
Ministry of Health (MOH) has contributed resources to the
creation of two medium-term shelters (one in Athens and one
in Thessaloniki) and one short-term shelter run by the
National Center of Immediate Social Assistance (EKAKV- a part
of the MOH). EKAKV has a national center that operates an
SOS hotline for general social and psychological assistance.
There is at least one additional government-supported NGO
hotline and four government-supported NGO shelters, with an
additional GoG-funded NGO shelter under construction.
Hellenic Aid funded anti-TIP Olympics-related projects.
Additional Hellenic Aid funds to NGOs provide social and
psychological support to victims, advocacy and social
reintegration. The GoG collaborates with IOM and NGOs on
voluntary repatriation of victims and conducted 12 such
repatriations in 2004. The MPO has published a multilingual
"know-your-rights" pamphlet, available in police stations
around the country, that was designed to inform persons
identified as possible trafficking victims of their rights
and resources at their disposal (See Protection section).


H. The Hellenic National Police (HNP) are making significant
efforts on TIP -- perhaps more so than any other ministry --
including the deployment of specialized anti-trafficking
units in Athens and Thessaloniki since 2003 and their planned
expansion to five other cities. However NGOs and the media
report that some local police facilitate trafficking, accept
bribes to assist traffickers, or simply ignore the problem.
During 2004, three police officers were sentenced to between
three and five and a half years imprisonment on corruption
charges related to their providing protection to a nightclub
that used trafficked women, and three officers were given
suspended sentences on charges related to a makeshift brothel
where two trafficked women were held (see Prosecution - D).
There have been no reports of high-level officials involved
in trafficking crime rings.



I. While the HNP is very large (50,000 members), not all
officers have been sensitized to the TIP problem in Greece.
The MPO had made efforts to address this challenge by
introducing police training, printing a "know your rights"
informational brochure for victims, and issuing a directive
from the Chief of Police reinforcing how to recognize,
question, and assist victims of TIP (see Prosecution - G, ref
D). Some corruption within the Greek bureaucracy and a slow
judicial system contribute to limitations on the GoG,s
ability to address trafficking in practice. Finally, Greeks
are tolerant of prostitution, especially by foreign women
and, as demonstrated in a recent TIP case in northern Greece,
a local community may be more supportive of a fellow villager
and accused trafficker, than of a foreign TIP victim
perceived to be a prostitute by choice. (Ref E, see
Prosecution - D)



J. We request and receive reports from various ministries on
anti-trafficking efforts. Monitoring and reporting
statistics of arrests is good, but reporting on convictions
is not as comprehensive. The MFA reported to the Embassy
progress on action items that we requested for the G/TIP
Interim Assessment in November. In February, the MFA
provided a reported on completed and pending actions of the
GoG,s National Action Plan (see Prevention - J.) One
component of the National Action Plan is the creation of a
national database, with ministries providing statistics on
traffickers arrested and prosecuted, numbers of victims
identified and protected, NGO actions taken, and statistics
on the number of entries and exits from specific countries of
origin, inter alia. The statistics provided in this report
are a result of information gathering efforts to support the
creation of this database. The GoG also reports on its
anti-trafficking efforts in local and international
conferences.



K. Prostitution and brothel ownership is legal and regulated
by the state. Prostitutes must register at the local
prefecture and carry a medical card that is updated every two
weeks. The minimum age is 18 (according to Article 6 of law
1193/81). Most prostitution in Greece is illegal -that is,
the women are not licensed by the state - and is arranged by
newspaper ads, in bars, or in strip clubs.



--------------------------


Prevention


--------------------------





A. The GOG acknowledges that trafficking is a problem in
Greece.



B. The following ministries are involved in anti-trafficking
efforts:

Health (medical care for victims, operation of shelters,
operation of telephone hotline, repatriation program with IOM)
Public Order (TIP task force, TIP busts, arrests, victim
screening, education of police)
Justice (victim screening, prosecutions, convictions,
education of prosecutors and judges, assignment of special
TIP prosecutors, amendment of legislative framework)
Foreign Affairs (Hellenic Aid programs and shelter funding,
bilateral agreements, funding free legal aid for victims,
funding of conferences and training seminars for police,
judges, and prosecutors)
Finance (authorizing funding for TIP efforts)
Interior (amendment of legislative framework regarding
residence permits, granting of residence permits, detention
of illegal migrants)

The Education and Labor Ministries are also mentioned in
anti-trafficking legislation and the National Action Plan as
having some responsibilities for education, vocational
training, and job placement of victims, but those programs
remain in planning stages as of February 2005.



C. There have been GoG-funded anti-trafficking campaigns.
The GoG funded the NGO Stop Now! to produce leaflets aimed at
informing the general public (passed to G/TIP officials
January 31). The leaflet defines trafficking, addresses
common misperceptions about victims, explains why victims
cannot escape their traffickers, and describes Greece's
anti-TIP legislation. GoG funded Stop Now! television and
radio PSAs show dramatic images relating to child sex
trafficking and abuse of TIP victims. The PSAs targeted both
the general public and clients, and were reportedly well
received and effective. Stop Now! did not have funding to
run the television ads in 2004, but ran radio PSAs and print
ads targeting the general public and clients. Stop Now! also
distributed small items such as cigarette lighters printed
with questions that introduced TIP themes, such as "children
in prostitution; do you agree?" The child anti-trafficking
NGO ARSIS is launching a national ad campaign on child
prostitution as part of the Nathalie II project financed by
MFA. ARSIS also runs a weekly column on child trafficking in
Thessaloniki newspapers and began publishing a periodical.

The GoG-funded NGO &Klimaka,8 which recently opened a
shelter for victims, produced leaflets and posters in Greek,
English, Russian, Turkish, and Arabic, addressing trafficking
victims which are posted at bus stations, on buses, and at
Metro stations, and the NGO president reports receiving many
calls based on the posters. Klimaka,s brochure describes
the problem, the Greek law, and the NGO action. It reads in
part, "Klimaka has developed support and aid services to the
victims of trafficking with emphasis on social and
psychological support and rehabilitation, social integration,
or voluntary repatriation of the victims." Klimaka's
attractive poster reads "She thought this was a way to leave
the miserable conditions of her country. Is there any way
for her to leave forced prostitution? Trafficking in persons
for sexual exploitation is a MODERN FORM OF SLAVERY." The
poster states that Klimaka has a program to support victims
of trafficking and exploitation and lists contact
information, also noting that the program is financed by the
MFA through Hellenic Aid.

The GoG-funded NGO of the Greek Orthodox Church, Solidarity,
publicized its independent hotline and reported that its
anti-TIP messages and hotline number would be printed on the
back of bus tickets and phone cards as of February 15.
Solidarity also included information about TIP prevention and
fundraising in materials, such as their 2005 day planner.
Solidarity,s brochure of global programs includes
information about its new shelter and anti-TIP program in
Romania.

The privately-funded, church affiliated NGO KESO produced
awareness raising leaflets which describe the TIP problem in
Greece as follows: &Trafficking constitutes an immediate
danger to the society, undermines democracy and is a stigma
for our culture. Nations are destroyed when their values
and human dignity are undermined. One million Greek citizens
are the customers of 20,000 illegal and forcibly prostituted
foreign women who were imported as a commodity into our
country, and are victims of the transnational crime of
trafficking. For these victims of sexual exploitation, KESO
has a shelter (Mother's Hearth), where it provides support
and assistance while victims are in Greece and until they are
repatriated. KESO has suggested amendments to the law with
strict penalties for traffickers as well as penalization for
clients."

The Hellenic Aid-funded NGO "ACT UP," distributed
multi-lingual information sheets on sexually transmitted
diseases (STDs) and prostitution at bars and on the streets
during the period of the Olympic Games, operated a bilingual
telephone hotline, and attempted to detect trafficking
victims, sometimes through information from clients. ACT UP
does street work and focuses on STD identification and
prevention especially among migrant prostitutes, and is a
member of TAMPEP (Transnational AIDS/STD Prevention Among
Migrant Prostitutes in Europe), a European network with 24
member countries that works on issues of migrant prostitution
and promotion of anti-trafficking policies.

EKAKV, under the MOH, has started a public awareness campaign
regarding its new victim telephone hotline, and has plans for
additional PSAs on television. The EKAKV director reported
that the hotline is becoming widely known and receives many
calls, though many are not related to TIP. Additionally, the
announcement of the GoG National Action Plan on TIP and
hotline inauguration received media coverage (Refs F, G).
The Mayor of Athens reported that the municipality's
emergency hotline received and referred TIP calls.


D. In the widest sense, the GOG uses organizations like the
Interior Ministry's General Secretariat for Gender Equality
and sponsors a number of programs for immigrants, especially
women, that are part of TIP prevention efforts. Hellenic Aid
also sponsors cooperation with anti-TIP programs in countries
of origin to prevent trafficking.



E. Yes, the GoG is able to support prevention programs
through the 3.1 million euro Hellenic Aid budget for
anti-trafficking projects. These funds support such programs
in foreign countries that operate hotlines and information
campaigns about realities of working in the EU with the
ultimate goal of preventing potential victims from being
lured into TIP.



F. Under the new government, NGOs and IOs meet with the
inter-ministerial council at the "permanent forum" instituted
under the National Action Plan for dialogue between the GoG
and NGOs. The first permanent forum meeting after the August
announcement of the National Action Plan was held in November
2004 and the next meeting is planned for March 2005. The GoG
has a productive, close relationship with IOM and some NGOs.
Certain NGOs report that they are not as well connected with
the highest-level policymakers on TIP as they were in the
previous administration, but they have an audience with the
Secretaries General at the permanent forum. Some NGOs claim

SIPDIS
that the there is a political divide between the new
"conservative" government and the NGOs. Access and
coordination at the lower levels -- for NGOs to visit
possible victims in detention centers, for example -- is
inconsistent and often based on interpersonal relationships.



G. Greece has acceptable border controls in general, though
thousands of illegal immigrants are smuggled into the country
every year. Police received updated TIP screening questions
in a December Directive (see Prosecution ) G) and border
patrol officers along the Bulgarian and Macedonian borders
are informed on TIP. There have been isolated cases of
police identifying and referring TIP cases from the airport
and police stations, but there is no systematic monitoring of
immigration and emigration patterns for evidence of
trafficking. Many victims of sex trafficking come with
tourist or temporary visas, implying that better screening is
required at foreign Greek consulates than with border police.
Bulgarians do not need visas to enter Greece, which could
contribute to the problem for Bulgarian victims. The
National Action Plan provides for statistics on the number of
entries and exits from specific countries of origin to be
kept in the national database, and as of February 2005,
collection of database information was still underway.



H. In August 2004, an inter-ministerial level coordinating
committee was established at the Secretary General level.
The committee meets at least twice per month. The police
have an internal affairs office to investigate police
corruption. The Ombudsman's office is a watchdog for general
government corruption and human rights complaints.



I. The GOG has excellent cooperation with Interpol, Europol,
SECI, and other regional groups with anti-TIP initiatives.
In 2004, law enforcement officers participated in a
multinational, region-wide SECI anti-TIP operation called
"Mirage 2004." The Greek Chapter of the International Police
Association held a trafficking conference in November 2004,
sponsored by the GoG, which brought together law enforcement
officers from throughout Greece, from Eastern European and
former Soviet source countries, as well as officers from the
FBI and Scotland Yard to share best practices and law
enforcement tactics to fight trafficking as well as to hear
from NGOs and academics on victim realities and trafficking
trends.



J. In August 2004, the GoG presented a national plan of
action to address trafficking in person, entitled
&Integrated Program: Actions for the Suppression of
Trafficking in Human Beings.8 The plan covers
inter-ministerial activities as well as specific activities
of eight ministries. A copy of the plan was passed to G/TIP
officials on January 31 and Post can pass an electronic
English version upon request. NGOs were consulted in the
development of the national action plan. The Secretary
General of the Ministry of Justice and nine of his
counterparts presented the national action plan at a press
conference on August 4 (Ref F). The government has taken
steps to disseminate the National Action Plan via its public
release and press conference, at international conferences
and meetings, as well as by delivering it to international
organizations such as the IOM, SECI, OSCE, and EU.



K. The inter-ministerial council discusses and develops
anti-trafficking programs within the government. Ambassador
Verros from the MFA, assisted by Mr. Moskoff of Hellenic Aid,
are primarily responsible for coordinating this effort.

Fifth Annual Greece TIP Report Submission Continued Septel.