The increasing rate of poverty and the constant violation of human rights add a new dimension to human trafficking. Therefore, the 18th of October has been designated as the European Day against Human Trafficking.
Currently, there are four categories of trafficking of minors in Greece:
- Child labour, whether it be in the streets or in businesses.
- Sexual exploitation.
- Recruitment of children who are then forced to join human trafficking gangs.
- Kidnapping for ransom.
Since the beginning of 2018, ARSIS – Association for the Social Support of Youth has located 500 unaccompanied minor refugees/immigrants, as well as 250 children from the Balkans living and working on the streets, exposed to harsh conditions and falling prey to traffickers.
Many of these children are forced to join gangs that smuggle people across the borders. Others are kidnapped, held captive and abused, while the traffickers blackmail their parents and ask them for ransom.
ARSIS stands by minors who are vulnerable to human trafficking and exploitation. It protects them deploying street work teams, using shelters that host unaccompanied minors as well as the House of ARSIS accommodating 48 children this year, establishing protection services and creating safe zones in the camps, building Youth Support Centers and offering child protection services.
In addition to legal support, the minors are provided with psychosocial empowerment, education, as well as food, clothing apparel and pharmaceutical support. ARSIS offers customized services that act in the best interests of the children.
Furthermore, it tries to prevent human trafficking by organizing events that aim to raise awareness in schools and businesses, with the participation of students, teachers and employees. At European and global level, ARSIS runs awareness-raising campaigns to draw the general public’s attention to the issue of child trafficking.
For further information:
Thomas Charalampidis, legal counsel of ARSIS’ child protection service, tel. 6932 35 78 78,
Irida Pandiri, social worker, coordinator of the ARSIS’ shelters for unaccompanied minors, tel. 6948 590 246
PIER – Protection, Integration and Education for Refugees in Greece, Italy and Austria, implemented with the support of “The Coca-Cola Foundation”, (http://www.pier-program.com) allows ARSIS to raise awareness and inform the public on Human Trafficking.