A veil of tragic indifference

The trafficking of children for sexual exploitation and for the removal of their organs is not just a nightmare. It is an indisputable reality that now exists in our country. Greece has been involved in international trafficking networks for years now and has become a veritable hub for homeless, abandoned children who have been kidnapped from countries in the Balkans and former Soviet Union or who have been sold into such rings, sometimes by their own parents. These children become the victims of every kind of abuse imaginable, even the removal of their vital organs by shady international groups who sell them to private clinics. According to a study conducted by a Swiss non-governmental organization a few years ago, 3,800 children were smuggled through Greece within the space of just years. Of these, only 15 percent managed to escape their captors. The rest were sent to different parts of the country or abroad for all kinds of uses. But we ponder on this reality just once a year – on May 25, which is International Missing Children’s Day – even though it should be the daily concern of all state services, not just a handful of NGOs. No one else cares – neither the state nor the television presenters who only pick up what they know will sell.