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Do you know about Human Trafficking?

Human Trafficking is the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harboring or receipt of people through force, fraud, or deception to exploit them for profit. Men, women and children of all ages and from all backgrounds worldwide can become victims of this crime, which occurs in every region of the world. The traffickers often use violence or fraudulent employment agencies and fake promises of education and job opportunities to trick and coerce their victims.

Traffickers use physical and sexual abuse, blackmail, emotional manipulation, and the removal of official documents to control their victims. Exploitation can happen in a victim's home country, during the migration or in a foreign country.

How to recognise a case of Human Trafficking?

Human Trafficking has many forms. These include exploitation in the sex and hospitality industries, as domestic workers or in forced marriages. Victims are forced to work in factories, beggaries, domestic servitude, construction sites, or the agricultural sector without pay or with an inadequate salary, living in fear of violence and often inhumane conditions.

Human traffickers use many different tactics to recruit their victims, including both force and psychological manipulation. The perpetrators get their victims through the use of physical force, threats or psychological pressure. Some methods used to traffic humans include forms of deception like:

  • Seduction and romance
  • False job advertisements
  • Lies about educational or travel opportunities
  • Abduction
  • Sale by family
  • Recruitment through former slaves

The signs of human trafficking are physical, behavioral, emotional, and situational. Not all of the given signs are happening or are obvious in every case. Equally, each of these incidents does not mean that there is a trafficking offence. It is a combination of incidents that indicates that a person has been a victim of trafficking.

Victims of trafficking usually look exhausted, have inappropriate clothing so to look older, expensive possessions, and in general, they are in poor health conditions.

Regarding victim's behavior, usually, they have much older boyfriends, they disappear often, they have a significant behavioral change. They feel withdrawn, and isolated and the drastic change in their personality is very obvious.

Victims often feel fear, shame, hopelessness, insecurities, depression or lack of trust. They feel detached, and they have violent outbursts.

There are practical signs that help to recognize a case of trafficking. Victims don't have passports or any documentation, don't speak the country's language, are not allowed to make decisions, go anywhere alone, and don't control their money.

Migrants and refugees are very vulnerable people as they are in a foreign country. They don't speak the language of the country. Therefore, in most of cases, they cannot find proper work easily.

The traffickers use several methods to capture their victims. Here are some examples where you can recognize a case of trafficking:

  • A parent selling a child
  • A perpetrator kidnapping a victim
  • Enslaving to pay off a family debt
  • Recruiting for a false job opportunity
  • The fake opportunity of travelling and studying abroad
  • Offering a false marriage proposal
  • Offering an opportunity to participate in a gang, asking to commit illegal acts with the exchange of presents, money, food etc.

Where to seek help?

If you are in a dangerous situation, these are the free emergency numbers in Greece where you can call and reach for help:

  • Police - 100
  • Ambulance - 166
  • Fire Station - 199
  • European emergency number (EU wide) - 112

If you are a victim or you know a victim of human trafficking, call the 1109 National Hotline for Human Trafficking.

The 1109 Hotline is the National Hotline for Human Trafficking in Greece. Anyone can call 1109. The 1109 Hotline for Human Trafficking is an initiative of A21 in Greece. They provide information on how to get help, how a rescued victim in Greece can access immediate care, and information about the restoration processes for survivors of Human Trafficking.

If you live in:

  • a refugee camp, you can seek help from the protection management of the camp and the organizations that are providing services.
  • a refugee accommodation site can seek help from a social worker, psychologist, or a trusted worker in the organization that provides services to you.

Operation of the 1109 Hotline, national and international tips

The 1109 Human Trafficking Hotline is available to answer all urgent calls from anywhere in the country, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, every day of the year. Please call within general office hours (9 am - 5 pm) for informational calls. Anyone can also contact the 1109 Hotline. All calls have local charges.

If the caller wishes so, s/he can request to be called back with no charges. The 1109 Hotline is also available through the email address info@1109.gr or report a tip on the 1109 website

The calls of the 1109 Hotline are anonymous and confidential. None will share this information with other individuals and agencies without prior consent. The caller can choose to provide information, so the 1109 Hotline will support in cases of child abuse or evidence that the caller may harm his/herself or others.

The Supported Languages of the 1109 Hotline.

The 1109 Hotline can handle calls in all languages. The 1109 Human Trafficking Resource Line call operators speak both Greek and English but connect with others interpreter service with access to over 200 languages in just a few minutes.

For international tips or questions about situations of Human Trafficking in Greece, please call the A21 organisation in Greece at 0030-2310019880.

Find more: What is exploitation?

Need to report a case of trafficking? Please don't hesitate. Contact the 1109 Hotline or your local authorities immediately.