SOCIETY

Human trafficking awareness event

The Greek Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Canadian Embassy in Athens and the Greek branch of the International Organization for Migration (IOM-Greece) are holding an event to raise awareness about human trafficking on Wednesday, March 30, which revolves around the screening of the award-winning Canadian documentary ?Sex Slaves? by Ric Bienstock.

The 2009 documentary follows a Ukranian man trying to track down his 21-year-old pregnant wife, who was sold into sexual slavery for $1,000 by a man who promised her a shopping trip to Turkey.

According to the International Herald Tribune, human trafficking is the fastest-growing form of organized crime in Eastern Europe, worth billions of euros and with an estimated half a million women sold every year into human-trafficking rings in 50 countries.

Bienstock and her crew follow Viorel with a hidden camera as he travels to Turkey; his only lead is the telephone number of the pimp who, he believes, has Katia in his possession — the documentary is the first of its kind in which a trafficker speaks openly about his operations. To secure his wife?s release, after days of desperate efforts, Viorel poses as a trafficker and sets out to buy his wife back. ?Sex Slaves? also takes down the testimonies of other victims, traffickers and the families that have been torn apart by the trade in human flesh.

The program of the awareness-raising event, which begins at 9.45 a.m. with arrivals at the Foreign Ministry?s Kranidiotis Amphitheater at 1 Academias Street, will start with welcome speeches from Canadian Ambassador Renata Wielgosz and IOM-Greece Chief of Mission Daniel Esdras at 10 a.m., followed by a presentation by Deputy Foreign Minister Spyros Kouvelis of the Foreign Ministry Action Plan for raising public awareness in the fight against modern slavery.

The screening of ?Sex Slaves? will begin at 10.50 a.m. and will be followed by a discussion with the director.