Hostel for sex trade victims

The first hostel in Athens for women who are victims of human trafficking and sexual exploitation is to open within the next few months, it was announced yesterday. An initiative by the humanitarian organization Doctors of the World – Greece, the center will endeavor to help some of the victims of a form of crime that has been on the rise in recent years, with an estimated 20,000 victims in Greece alone, many of them underage and living in virtual servitude after being forced or tricked into leaving their home countries, usually in Eastern Europe. In a press conference yesterday, Bonnie Miller, the wife of US Ambassador in Athens Thomas Miller, spoke of her experience in helping women in Bosnia and Albania. The hostel, to cost about 360,000 euros annually to operate, has the support of the American Women’s Organization of Greece (AWOG) and Philip Morris Hellas. A fund-raiser is to be held Thursday with a fashion show by Greek designer Penelope Zagoras. Doctors of the World currently run a 24-hour hotline for these women (for information call 010.644.0300).

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