Human Trafficking―A Modern Day Anathema

MAY-JUNE 2012|BY BUSINESS PARTNERS
Human Trafficking is a global issue that is continuously growing.

With an estimated 27 million people trapped in various forms of slavery worldwide, there are more slaves in the world today that at any other time in history.

The definition of modern day slavery is exactly this: A crime against humanity. It is the illegal exploitation of human beings for the purposes of, commercial gain through means of forced labor or sex slavery.

Today, Human Trafficking is the second largest global organized crime, generating approximately 31.6 billion USD every year. Trafficking for sexual exploitation alone makes 27.8 billion USD per year!1

Each country plays a role in the high-demand business that is Human Trafficking. Whether they are a country of origin, transit or destination for victims, they are contributing to this matter of injustice.

Greece has been highlighted as ‘The center of trafficking in Europe.’ With it being both a destination and transit country for Human Trafficking, it is a primary gateway for trafficked victims to enter the European Union. 90% of all European Union illegal immigrations come directly through Greece.2

But there is something we can do about this…

Now there is a phone number we can call to not only learn more about what is happening in our own country, but to also report any suspicious activity we see. We can be a part of the solution.

The Human Trafficking Resource Line, 1109, is the first hotline with focus on anti-human trafficking to be launched in Greece. Built with the sole purpose of educating the general public on the issue of Human Trafficking, receiving tips regarding suspicious activity about potential trafficking situations and providing referrals to victims to reach services such as counseling and shelter.

The hotline plays a crucial part in the fight against this form of injustice, by offering a confidential service for both the victim and the public.

With 1109 operating 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, a live trained call specialist on the line and a translation service available, offering live translations in up to 170 different languages, the hotline provides a confidential and anonymous service for victims to call. Once a call has come in, 1109 specialists are then able to connect them with advice, emergency crisis shelters, legal service and case management facilities.

Trained specialists are also able to respond to any queries that callers may have surrounding the issue of Human Trafficking, both in Greece and worldwide. They have been fully trained to answer a diverse array of topics within the realm of trafficking.

The Human Trafficking Resource Line also works along side local law enforcement, organized crime departments and service providers throughout Greece. Assisting in the reporting of suspicious and potential situations of Human Trafficking to these departments as well as working closely with anti-human trafficking organizations.

What Can I Do?

Promoting the nationwide hotline is one of the most effective methods to make the service known to all, believing that raising awareness accounts for 80% of the solution to this modern day slavery.

There are several of ways that you and your business can aid in the fight against Human Trafficking:

You can promote the resource line through your own business:

  • Display the 1109 hotline number posters in your office
  • Post a 1109 awareness banner on your website
  • Request a 1109 specialist to train your staff on prevention and detection methods

Training assistance is provided by expert staff, who are fully trained with the facts and knowledge to provide training to businesses and companies. The training delivered seeks to build individual and practitioner expertise and strengthen local anti-trafficking infrastructure to improve the nationwide response to Human Trafficking.

With approximately 90% of victims trafficked into the European Union being enslaved into forced prostitution3, the probability of you, a colleague, relative or a friend having witnessed a victim of trafficking at some point is exceptionally high. Victims of trafficking will look and dress like ordinary people.

There are however, indicators that can be helpful when identifying a potential victim of trafficking:

  • Look out for signs of physical abuse, restraint, confinement or torture.
  • What is their behavior like? Do they appear anxious, depressed, nervous or paranoid?
  • Are they avoiding eye contact where possible?
  • What is their appearance like? Do they lack health care or do they appear malnourished?
  • Does there seem to be unusually high security measures existing in work and/or living locations?
  • When answering questions, do they sound scripted and rehearsed? Or does someone speak on his or her behalf?

To help determine whether a person is a victim of trafficking can be discovered by asking all the right questions:

  • What type of work do you do?
  • Are you getting paid to do your job? Do you receive payment or is the money held for you?
  • Do they have a lack of knowledge of their whereabouts, or do not know what city they are currently in?
  • Is somebody else in possession of his or her identification documents?
  • Is anybody forcing you to do anything that you do not want to do?

Unfortunately, only one percent of victims of slavery are rescued4. The other 99% are still waiting for someone to notice and make that call. Don’t wait until the issue becomes a personal matter. Stand against slavery today. Why let it continue growing into the largest slave business in the world!

You can make a difference today. It’s simple. One call could safe her life.

Should you or your business be interested in finding out more information on the work of The Human Trafficking Resource Line or have any questions on the topic of trafficking, please contact one of our operators who will not hesitate to answer any queries you should have. Call now: 1109

1 http://www.unodc.org/documents/human-trafficking/Global_Report_on_TIP.pdf

2 Frontex, 2010, “Frontex deploys Rapid Border Intervention Teams to Greece” News Release

3 Varouhakis, M., 2002, July 26, “Trafficked Women Are Victims,” Global Outlook, Centre for Research on Globalisation

4 United Nations, 2009, “UN Agency Calls for Better Monitoring to Combat Human Trafficking in Europe,” in UN News Centre, Available: http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=32575&Cr=human+trafficking&Cr1

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