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06ATHENS572 2006-03-01 05:01:00 UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Embassy Athens
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					  UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 05 ATHENS 000572 




E.O. 12958: N/A

REF: A. STATE 3836










K. 05 ATHENS 3157

L. 05 ATHENS 3144

M. 05 ATHENS 3110

N. 05 ATHENS 2959

O. 05 ATHENS 2927


Q. 05 ATHENS 2802


S. 05 ATHENS 2779

T. 05 ATHENS 2742

U. 05 ATHENS 2113

V. 05 ATHENS 1626

W. 05 TIRANA 968

X. 05 ATHENS 1268

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

2. (SBU) Below are Embassy Athens' responses to the 2006 TIP
report questionnaire. Text is keyed to Ref A request for
"Overview" Section. This is the first of four cables.

3. SUMMARY: Greece has made significant efforts
domestically and regionally in its TIP fight in 2005-06,
demonstrating compelling evidence of continued, appreciable
progress from the previous year. Greece shared comprehensive
conviction stats on all arrests made in 2005, identified 137
victims and arrested over 200 traffickers. Greece has also
taken a number of steps outside and beyond the benchmarks.
It funded numerous important programs to prevent trafficking
and provide for domestic shelters, legal aid, and other
victim services. It has sponsored, hosted, and funded major
TIP-focused international and domestic conferences, and has
funded and implemented training for law enforcement
authorities and others. Interministerial cooperation has been
strong. The Ministry of Interior has produced a national
public awareness campaign, building on the momentum of
numerous press articles detailing the TIP problem in Greece
(including a comprehensive, full-color expose in a weekend
edition of the largest-circulation Greek daily). The MFA
began a TIP working-level group and completed its Child
Repatriation Agreement with Albania. Greece signed the
Council of Europe's Convention against Trafficking and is
progressing towards ratification of the Palermo Protocol. It
is the embassy's judgment based on the progress made this
year and reflected in this report, that Greece deserves to be
moved to Tier 2. Looking ahead, septel will analyze how best
to capitalize on current momentum in the government and in
public opinion for 2007-2008. END SUMMARY.

Overview of Greece's activities to eliminate TIP:



-- A. Is the country a country of origin, transit, or
destination for international trafficked men, women, or
children? Specify numbers for each group; how they were
trafficked, to where, and for what purpose. Does the
trafficking occur within the country's borders? Does it
occur in territory outside of the government's control (e.g.
in a civil war situation)? Are any estimates or reliable
numbers available as to the extent or magnitude of the
problem? Please include any numbers of victims. What is
(are) the source(s) of available information on trafficking
in persons or what plans are in place (if any) to undertake
documentation of trafficking? How reliable are the numbers
and these sources? Are certain groups of persons more at
risk of being trafficked (e.g. women and children, boys
versus girls, certain ethnic groups, refugees, etc.)?

Greece is a destination and transit country for international
trafficking in women and children, and to a smaller degree,
men. In 2005, the GoG identified 137 victims of TIP: 104
women, 29 men, and 4 children. Seventeen perpetrators were
arrested for labor trafficking in one case involving 31 adult
victims from Romania. International organizations such as
IOM and authorities from other destination countries report
that Greece is sometimes a transit country, with victims
being moved on to Italy and other EU countries. There are no
official estimates of the extent or magnitude of TIP in
Greece. In January 2005 sociologist and criminologist at
Panteion University Grigoris Lazos estimated, based on field
research, that there were between 6,100 and 6,250 victims of
sex trafficking (women and teenage girls) in Greece. Lazos,
a 2005 Index on Censorship Whistleblower Award winner for his
"tireless campaign against human trafficking," estimated in
2003 that there were 20,000 TIP victims in Greece. Lazos is
the only researcher who has made estimates of the scope of
the TIP phenomenon in Greece, and he has attributed the
decrease in trafficking to decreased demand for prostitution,
due to lower discretionary income of Greeks. (Note: Whether
actually true or not, anecdotal polling results show Greeks
believe their discretionary income has decreased and that
inflation is outpacing wage increases. Greeks may,
therefore, less frequently visit sex workers. End Note.)

Anti-child trafficking NGOs estimated in 2004 that "hundreds"
of children, mainly Roma from Albania, are victims of
trafficking for labor exploitation; typically selling small
items (packs of tissue or flowers), begging, or stealing.
NGOs report that trafficking of children has decreased due to
intensive prevention effort in Albania, and as it has become
easier for Albanian parents to immigrate to Greece with their
children rather than "rent" their children to traffickers as
was done in the past. There are teenaged girls trafficked to
Greece for commercial sexual exploitation. One anti-child
trafficking NGO said that it identified one suspected child
trafficking victim whose case was not accepted by the
prosecutor for children. The Child Repatriation Agreement
with Albania, signed in Tirana in February 2006, will address
some of the problems with the protection of child victims.

-- B. Please provide a general overview of the trafficking
situation in the country and any changes since the last TIP
Report (e.g. changes in direction). Also briefly explain the
political will to address trafficking in persons. Other items
to address may include: What kind of conditions are the
victims trafficked into? Which populations are targeted by
the traffickers? Who are the traffickers? What methods are
used to approach victims? (Are they offered lucrative jobs,
sold by their families, approached by friends of friends,
etc.?) What methods are used to move the victims (e.g., are
false documents being used)?

Political Will to Address TIP


The Greek Government demonstrated political will at the
highest levels in 2005-2006 to address trafficking in
persons. Some examples of its resolve to combat TIP are

--March 1-2, 2006, the GoG sponsored a parallel event at the
UN entitled "Regional Cooperation for Countering Trafficking
in Women and Girls," organized by the NGO KEPAD with speakers
including the Greek UN Perm Rep and Secretary General of
Gender Equality (SGGE).

--In February 2006, the Deputy Foreign Minister signed the
"Agreement for the Protection and Assistance of Children
Victims of Trafficking" with Albania. (Septel)

--In February 2006, the Greek Ministries of Justice and
Public Order focused their Southeast European Cooperation
Process (SEECP) Ministerial on combating TIP and organized
crime, agreeing on a joint declaration between nine countries
to strengthen TIP actions. (Ref Athens 512)

--In February 2006 the Greek MFA provided 50,000 euros
funding to the Stability Pact Thessaloniki Office for a
Regional Conference on Transborder Organized Crime. (Ref
Athens 346, Ref Thess 14)

--In January 2006, the MPO established 12 anti-TIP police
task forces throughout Greece, in addition to the current
task forces in Athens and Thessaloniki.

--In January 2006, Greece hosted a major international
roundtable, organized by Egyptian First Lady Suzanne Mubarak
and attended by, among others, the Queen of Sweden, business
executives from major corporations such as Microsoft, and
former UNSYG Boutros Boutros Ghali, to discuss the global
business community's responsibility to combat TIP. The
roundtable produced a statement of "Ethical Principles"
regarding TIP to be adopted by businesses, which was
presented at the World Economic Forum in Davos. (Ref Athens

--In Fall 2005, the GoG funded the International Police
Association's training seminars for Greek police in 10 cities
throughout Greece. IPA estimates the seminars reached at
least 1,300 officers, with presentations by 9 different NGOs,
IOM, prosecutors, police, lawyers, and university professors.

--In December 2005, the Greek Council for Refugees, with the
financial support of the MFA, organized the seminar
"Unaccompanied Minors: Reception, Social Inclusion, and
Protection from Trafficking" at which the Minister of Justice
gave opening remarks.

--In November 2005 the first MFA/IOM sponsored "Working
Group" meeting was held at the MFA. By February, three
meetings were held between NGOs, Governmental officials, and
source, transit, and destination country diplomats stationed
in Greece to work together primarily on TIP victims'
protection. (Ref 05 Athens 3157)

--In November 2005 the GoG signed a Memorandum of Cooperation
with 12 NGOs specifically on trafficking. (Ref 05 Athens 3110)

--In October 2005 the MFA and SGGE held a workshop in Tirana
aimed at preventing trafficking of women for prostitution
through sensitization, understanding the risks of sex work,
and re-integration.

--In October 2005, two GoG-funded shelters were opened in
Athens. (Ref 05 Athens 2742)

--In August 2005, the Parliament approved new legislation
centralizing issuance of residence/work permits for victims,
increasing their validity from six months to one year, and
mandating a "Reflection Period" for victims. (05 Athens 2113)

--In June 2005 the Ministry of Interior's National Center for
Public Administration and Local Government held a three-day
conference for prosecutors, judges, and police entitled "The
Role of Public Administration and the Judiciary System in
Combating Discrimination and Trafficking in Humans."

--In June 2005 the 11-country Ariadne anti-TIP NGO network
was established. (Ref 05 Athens 1626)

--In May 2005 the GoG supported a Training Seminar entitled
"Prevention and Counteracting of Trafficking in Human Beings
in the Mediterranean Region" organized by IOM Greece, IOM
Italy, the Italian MFA, and the Greek MFA, MOJ, MPO, MOH,
MOL, and SGGE. Speakers included TIP experts from IOs and
NGOs from Geneva, Tirana, Rome, Greece, Vienna, and Ankara.
Invitees to the Training Seminar were Greek NGOs, social
workers, police, prosecutors, and the diplomatic corps. The
Deputy Foreign Minister and nearly all members of the
Interministerial Council gave opening remarks.

--In May 2005, the Thessaloniki New Democracy Party's Women's
Section organized their second TIP seminar entitled "Women
and Trafficking in the Balkans." Speakers included the
Deputy Foreign Minister and MOH Secretary General.

Some NGOs complain that there is a lack of political will to
address TIP evidenced by low numbers of identified victims.
Based on the array of activities carried out by the GoG, only
some of which are shown above, it is the assessment of the
embassy that the government is demonstrating the political
will to continue to address this issue, by focusing not only
on the "benchmarks," but also on self-generated anti-TIP
initiatives and ideas.

TIP Trends in Greece


--NGOs and police agree that most victims trafficked to
Greece are women from former Soviet states, the Balkans and
Africa. These victims work in bars, brothels, and strip
clubs. In 2005, Greek law enforcement authorities and
prosecutors identified the following numbers and
nationalities of TIP victims: from Romania (53 victims),
Russia (28), Ukraine (12), Bulgaria (9), Nigeria (8), and
Moldova (7). Smaller numbers of trafficking victims were
identified from the following countries: Albania (2),
Armenia (2), Germany (1), Denmark (1), Eritrea (2), Estonia
(1), United Kingdom (1), Kazakhstan (1), Kyrgyzstan (1),
Belarus (3), Lithuania (3), The Netherlands (1), and
Uzbekistan (1).

--Most victims continued to enter Greece with legal
documentation, including work permits. Of the 137 victims
identified in Greece in 2005, only 20 were in the country
illegally. Some recognized victims also have legal, but
fraudulently obtained, documentation. For example, at least
four Russian victims over the past few years have reported to
NGOs that their traffickers falsified visa applications to
obtain visas in the victims' legal names (See Prosecution -

--There was an increasing trend of immigrant smugglers
locking smuggled immigrants in apartments once they arrived
in Greece, and demanding a "ransom" from family members in
origin countries.

--There were reports of debt bondage both by victims and by
source country diplomatic representatives in Greece.

--In 2005, the trend continued of increasing numbers of
African, especially Nigerian, women trafficked to Greece for
sexual exploitation. Some of these women believe they are
under a "spell," and will not, therefore, speak to police
and/or NGOs about their possible victimization, and refuse
assistance offered to them. In 2006, police and NGOs
convinced at least three Nigerian women "under voodoo curses"
to accept GoG assistance; those women are now defendants in
ongoing trials.

-- TIP victims are subjected to withholding of documents and
physical and psychological violence and threats. The trend
continued of victims being trafficked into more "humane"
conditions, with some freedom of movement, communication, and
small stipends, but increased psychological abuse. For
example, some victims' lives and the lives of their families
were threatened, and traffickers told some victims they would
be arrested, deported, or even killed if they went to the

--Some victims were forced to marry traffickers or
traffickers' associates to "legalize" their status in Greece.

--NGOs report that increasing numbers of women were acting as

-- C. What are the limitations on the government's ability
to address this problem in practice? For example, is funding
for police or other institutions inadequate? Is overall
corruption a problem? Does the government lack the resources
to aid victims?

Lack of knowledge about TIP (both generally and in terms of
counter-TIP techniques and training), corruption within the
Greek bureaucracy, and a slow judicial system contribute to
limitations on the GoG's ability to address trafficking in
practice. In an effort to educate the police force and key
civil servants, the GoG conducted in 2005 a series of 10
training sessions for police personnel, judges and
prosecutors throughout Greece, implemented by the
International Police Association, the European Public Law
Center, and IOM. In 2006, the MFA signed an agreement with
the President of the Union of Prosecutors for a TIP training
for prosecutors throughout Greece. (Prosecutors have
responsibility for characterizing TIP victims and trying TIP

Corruption aids the traffickers. In August 2005 a TIP ring
was uncovered in Thrace that included three police officers
-- two of whom were reportedly "high ranking" -- accused of
bringing dozens of women into Greece from Eastern Europe.
The case also involved a former local mayor and members of
the mayor's staff. The trial was pending as of March 1.
(Ref Athens 369)

-- D. To what extent does the government systematically
monitor its anti-trafficking efforts (on all fronts --
prosecution, prevention and victim protection) and
periodically make available, publicly or privately and
directly or through regional/international organizations, its
assessments of these anti-trafficking efforts?

TIP experts at the Ministries of Justice, Public Order,
Health, Interior and Foreign Affairs actively monitor the
anti-trafficking efforts of the GoG in prosecution,
prevention, and victim protection. The GoG makes their
assessments available, both publicly and privately, directly
to regional organizations, international bodies, and
embassies. In the past, NGOs have criticized the GoG for
producing reports only at the behest of the U.S. Embassy or
without adequate consultation with NGOs. This year, the GoG
coordinated with NGOs and IOM to provide information for this
report, gathering some stats directly from NGOs and
forwarding them as-is.

Greece 2006 TIP Report Submission Continued Septel.