New campaign against the exploitation of children

Greece and Albania must reach an intra-state agreement on how to deal with the issues of children who have been exploited, child labor and trafficking in children, assistant ombudsman Giorgos Moschos told Kathimerini. Moschos recently visited Albania as part of the EUNOMIA program, which promotes cooperation among ombudsmen from Southeastern European countries. «The purpose of our cooperation is to stop sending children who have become victims of exploitation back across the border,» said Moschos. «Minors should not be deported under any circumstances, but repatriated to their own country.» To make this possible, new legislation is needed that would enable Greek prosecutors to intervene so that youthful victims of exploitation are handed over to social service authorities in Albania. Moschos believes parents must be discouraged from sending their children to work in Greece where they may become victims of exploitation, a danger of which many parents are unaware. During their visit, the Greek delegation worked on providing expertise to the newly established children’s rights department in Albania, focusing on mediation and ways of improving the management of rights-abuse cases. Moschos met government officials and members of the non-governmental organization Terre des Hommes, which fights child trafficking and cares for child victims of trafficking who have been repatriated. Moschos also gave the names of Albanian children said to have gone missing from the Aghia Varvara institute in Athens to his Albanian counterpart, on condition they were not made public. «The Albanians have made a concerted effort to find the children, but the chances of success are limited,» he told Kathimerini. «We don’t know if we have the real names and some of the children have gone elsewhere, to other countries.»