PROBLEMS OF THE TRAFFICKING SYSTEM FOR THE IDENTIFICATION, PROTECTION AND TRAINING OF VICTIMS

PROBLEMS OF THE TRAFFICKING SYSTEM FOR THE IDENTIFICATION, PROTECTION AND TRAINING OF VICTIMS

Until October 2002, Law 3064/2002 came into force on “Combating trafficking in human beings, crimes of sexual freedom, pornography of minors and generally the economic exploitation of sexual life and assistance to the victims of these acts” (Official Governmental Journal, issue A, article 248 / 15.10.2002) the legislative framework in force in Greece was inadequate as the illicit trafficking of human beings was not punished by case. However, the implementation of the law has created problems related to the recognition of victims and the public services they have to provide, according to the law, protection to victims.

Many victims do not know what trafficking is, they cannot describe themselves as a victim, and this lack of awareness of what happens to them in connection with their self-accusation and ignorance of their rights, results in their deportation without any protection from risks that are lurking at their return, their conviction for illegal entry into the country and / or illegal prostitution. Also, the fear of retaliation by their dealers is so great that it prevents many women from being trafficked.

If they can still be described as victims by overcoming traps, their drama does not end there. In order to accept the state’s assistance, they have to cooperate with the authorities. This means that within 30 days they have to decide whether to testify against their torturers. If again, they just fear and do not do or testify at the end but do not have enough data to offer the authorities for traders, are excluded from the granting of a residence permit as prescribed by law and are again alone and helpless. The relationship of dependence between prosecuting traders and helping the victim undermines the rights of the victim. Even if the victim cooperates by providing enough evidence to prosecute the perpetrators, the lengthy court proceedings result in the victim psychologically suffering because he lives under the fear of retaliation. He is afraid of his life and his family since the threats from traders are continuous.

Employees implicated in the problem indirectly or directly do not seem to be aware of this. The simple police officer who will be the first to contact a potential victim does not know by what criteria a woman can be described as a victim because there is very little guidance and information about front-line police officers and she refers her to illegal prostitution. Few, are also the judges who have been informed and act on the basis of international experience. Free healthcare treatment provided by law cannot be used by victims as medical and nursing staff are unaware of trafficking and these laws. The residence permit is also a work permit that is not known by aspiring employers. Thus, the victim, who must explain the situation, is forced to present the legislation, which creates a problem in job search, stigmatizes the victim, makes employers mocked and puts women in difficult position of making a new beginning.

It is noteworthy that, despite legislation, this phenomenon is not seen as a problem of violation of the human rights of migrant populations, but focuses on the problem of international trafficking as an international crime of illegal population movement, with programs of repression rather than victim protection. Therefore, It is easy to conclude,  that greater emphasis is being placed on bringing offenders rather than on the rights and that a woman needs who has been the victim of a state of continuous hostage and exploitation.

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