Hostel for sex trade victims

At least 7,000 women are currently working against their will in the sex trade in Greece, experts said yesterday at the official opening of a new hostel for victims of human trafficking. Panteion University Professor Grigoris Lazos, an expert on human trafficking who works as a Public Order Ministry adviser on the matter, said 80 percent of the women who are forcibly brought into Greece by smuggling gangs initially hoped to improve the state of their finances by holding a legitimate job in the country. According to the Greek branch of the Doctors of the World non-governmental organization that opened the 12-bed hostel in central Athens, 65 percent of human-trafficking victims are university-educated. Some 80 percent grew up in cities, but 90 percent were unable to find work that matched their qualifications in their homeland. The hostel will offer women legal, medical and psychiatric support, as well as vocational training.