Greece not doing enough to combat trafficking, report says

Greece should intensify its efforts to combat human trafficking on its territory, according to the State Department’s 2013 “Trafficking in Persons” report released late Wednesday which urged authorities to do more to prosecute offenders.

“The government of Greece does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so,” said the report that classified Greece as a “Tier Two” country.

“The government did not investigate or prosecute any public officials for alleged complicity in human trafficking offenses, even though there were allegations of low-level police involvement in trafficking,” according to the study which evaluates progress in 187 countries.

The report, which was presented by US Secretary of State John Kerry, said that trafficking victims in Greece include women from Albania, Belarus, Bulgaria, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, Russia, Romania, Ukraine, Georgia, Nigeria, and some Asian countries.

Meanwhile, most victims of forced labor came from Albania, Bangladesh, Bulgaria, India, Moldova, Pakistan, Romania, and Afghanistan.

“Hundreds of children, mainly Roma from Albania and Romania, are subjected to forced labor in Greece and made to sell goods on the street, beg, or commit petty theft,” the study said.

The State Department urged Greek authorities to “vigorously” prosecute trafficking offenders and to intensify training of police and judiciary officials. It also called upon officials to encourage victims to report offenses to the authorities while enhancing existing witness protection programs.