HUMAN TRAFFICKING is the illegal trafficking of people using violence, threats, or other coercive means, usually for the purpose of sexual or labor exploitation, while FORCED LABOR is the forcing of a person to work in captivity for little or no pay.
The Hellenic Labor Inspectorate, as the competent body for the inspection of working conditions and the protection of the labor rights of workers – particularly in the cases of vulnerable groups – emphasizes the fight against human trafficking for the purpose of labor exploitation. It acts preventively by informing workers about their labor rights, but also by the identification of possible victims of human trafficking by observing signs of labor exploitation during the inspections.
INDICATIONS OF VICTIMS OF LABOR EXPLOITATION
- Ongoing monitoring – surveillance during work and “free” time.
- Inability to enjoy fundamental freedoms in the workplace.
- Undeclared work.
- Deprivation – restriction of free movement.
- Detention – withholding of travel documents and identification documents.
- Inability to define the details of the employer.
- Debt bondage.
- False promises regarding the type and hours of work.
- False promises regarding remuneration.
- Accommodation in a single room with several people together.
- Accommodation in remote – isolated (mainly rural) areas.
- Accommodation in places where basic hygiene guarantees do not exist.
- Deprivation of means of communication.
- Evidence of physical – psychological violence.
- Almost non-existent guarantees of safety and hygiene in the workplace.
- No employment contract.
In this context, the Hellenic Labor Inspectorate has been cooperating with A21 Greece since January 2023. A21 [Abolishing Slavery in the 21st Century] is an international non-profit and non-governmental organization founded in 2008 in Thessaloniki and currently active in 19 locations in 14 countries around the world.
A21’s strategy to combat the phenomenon of human trafficking focuses on three main areas of action: Awareness, Identification and Restoration of victims.
1. RAISING AWARENESS TO VULNERABLE GROUPS AND REDUCING DEMAND.
Emphasis is placed on awareness and prevention through events, presentations and educational material, towards the new generation, professionals, the general public as well as vulnerable groups.
2. IDENTIFICATION OF VICTIMS AND SEEKING JUSTICE.
A21 works closely with authorities to locate and identify victims, through the 1109 Human Trafficking Hotline. At the same time, A21 seeks the prosecution of traffickers and the legal representation of survivors in court proceedings – ensuring that the cases are referred to court hearings and the guilty ones will not avoid punishment.
3. CARE AND SUPPORT OF TRAFFICKING SURVIVORS.
A21 can offer survivors of human trafficking access to housing, medical care, psychosocial support, repatriation, always according to their individual needs and with the purpose of their reintegration into society. For the above purposes, A21 operates a crisis shelter and a day center.
1109 – HUMAN TRAFFICKING HOTLINE
In 2012, A21 initiated the operation of the Human Trafficking Hotline 1109, the only trafficking-specific hotline in Greece. Calls are handled by specially trained operators who speak Greek and English, while there is access to a tele-interpretation service, with direct interpretation in more than 200 languages.
Through the 1109 Hotline, callers are informed about human trafficking and useful indicators for the identification of cases of human trafficking, as well as about the services offered by A21 to survivors. In addition, through the 1109 Hotline, callers are enabled to anonymously report suspicions or potential incidents related to human trafficking.
The 1109 Hotline receives reports -anonymous if so desired – about potential human trafficking incidents by phone, email, or through the special contact form on the www.1109.gr website.
Facebook: 1109 Greece