“This is the first time that the British authorities are working with the Greek authorities to tackle the slavery and trafficking of human beings,” Britain’s ambassador to Greece Kate Smith told the Athens-Macedonian News Agency (ANA), on the occasion of a relevant seminar held on Wednesday at the ambassador’s residence.
The refugee crisis has intensified the phenomenon, which is called “invisible crime”, as only a few cases are recorded. “This is a global phenomenon that needs a global response,” said a British expert, Mr. Haland, at a special event held on Tuesday evening at the ambassador’s residence to present the seminar.
“Combatting the phenomenon is a personal priority of Prime Minister Teresa May,” said ambassador Smith.
“The seminar will bring together experts from both countries, police, prosecutors, representatives of NGOs, and it is very important that the private sector will also be involved for the first time,” the British ambassador said. She explained that a Nestlé representative from Britain and Greece will be joining, saying that the supply chain can make a decisive contribution to tackling the phenomenon.
Alternate Foreign Minister Giorgos Katrougalos, who was present at the event, stressed that such phenomena exist in Greece. What matters beyond law enforcement, he said, is the society becoming aware of the issue.
“The two countries share experiences and know-how and we hope to reach a more stable cooperation relationship,” Foreign Ministry expert and national rapporteur for combatting trafficking in human beings Iraklis Moskov said to ANA.
Moskov stressed the need for cooperation, both in the field of law enforcement with the participation of prosecutors and police officers, as well as in the field of prevention with the participation of labour inspectors and the private sector through the supply chain, which will contribute to “consumers acquiring a zero tolerance consciousness”. Slavery and human trafficking has millions of victims in the world, he stressed.
In Greece, about 100 victims per year are reported by the authorities, while it is known that in fact a much larger number of people is forced into prostitution and especially forced agricultural labour.
Moskov underlined that the Break the Chain festival will be held on December 1-2. The festival is related to the refugee crisis and this year it has been dealing with work-related trafficking.