Greece’s legal framework concerning Trafficking of Persons follows the European and international legislation accordingly. More specifically, Greece has adopted the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime and its Protocol/the “Palermo Protocol” (Law 3875/2010), the Council of Europe Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings (Law 4216/2013) and the anti-trafficking EU Directive (2011/36/ΕC/ Law 4198/2013). Accordingly, in 2013 Greece has established, within the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Office of the National Rapporteur on Trafficking in Human Beings (NRO), following the transposition of the EU anti-trafficking Directive.
The mandate of the Office is to cooperate closely with all competent Ministries as well as with International Organizations and civil society stakeholders and is active in all four pillars of the strategy to combat trafficking (Prevention, Protection, Prosecution and Partnerships).
Greece has initiated a formal national identification and referral Mechanism for victims and presumed victims of trafficking with the Ministerial Decision 30849/2016, entitled “Establishment and operation of the national system of identification and referral of victims of trafficking in human beings” published in the Official Government Gazette on 20.09.2016. The Office of the National Rapporteur supervises the National Referral Mechanism which operates as a hub for coordinated action and partnership building, among all actors involved in combating trafficking in persons. This does not merely concern law enforcement (police and prosecutors), but involves additional front-line professionals, such as labor inspectors, health providers, migration services, local administration authorities and other stakeholders who may come across vulnerable to THB populations. The Mechanism is managed by the National Centre for Social Solidarity of the Ministry of Labor/ EKKA.
Greece is also bound by Directive 2012/29/EU of the European Parliament and the Council of the EU of 25 October 2012 establishing minimum standards on the rights, support and protection of victims of crime that was transposed to the Greek legal framework in 2016 (Law 4478/2017) . The offence of trafficking in human beings was first introduced into the Greek Criminal Code in 2002 through Law 3064/2002 on “Combating trafficking in human beings, crimes against sexual freedom, child pornography and the financial exploitation of sexual life in general and the assistance to the victims of these acts”. In addition to Article 323A (trafficking in human beings) and Article 351 (trafficking in human beings for sexual exploitation) of the Penal Code, there are a number of other Penal Code provisions which are relevant to action against trafficking in human beings. Article 12 of Law 3064/2002 sets out the principles of the provision of assistance to victims of human trafficking and related crimes, the operational details of which are provided for in Presidential Decree 233/2003, which entered into force on 28 August 2003. This decree determines the responsible bodies, procedures and means of providing protection and assistance to victims of trafficking and related offences.
A very important development concerning the rights of victims of trafficking was stipulated in the Immigration and Social Integration Code (Law 4251/2014). In particular, Article 19 A of this Law provides that the Minister of Interior can grant a residence permit to victims of human trafficking, if there is an official recognition act by the General Prosecutor. This permit is for one year, it also stands for a work permit and it can be renewed for two years if a penal procedure is in progress. If not, the permit will be renewed for one year.
Of course, a very important legal development concerning human trafficking and generally gender based violence against women was the voting of Law 4531/2018 with which Greece has ratified the Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence (Istanbul Convention).
Law 3064/2002, entitled «Fight against trafficking in persons, crimes against sexual freedom, child pornography and generally the financial exploitation of sexual life and the support of these acts»
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