Despite being unable to prevent smugglers in Turkey from sending refugees and migrants to Greek islands and the northern land border along the Evros River, Greece has made significant progress in dealing with human trafficking, according to a report by the Council of Europe’s Group of Experts on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings (GRETA). This report, which is the first update in more than five years, examines progress in implementing EU rules.
GRETA acknowledged that Greece has established a national plan for preventing and combating human trafficking and has set up the National Referral Mechanism for identifying victims. However, improvements are still needed, such as increasing the number of labor inspectors and training them to detect cases of human trafficking and exploitation. This is particularly important in seasonal and agricultural sectors, as well as for women forced to provide sex services.
GRETA welcomed the creation of a Special Secretariat for the Protection of Unaccompanied Minors, the establishment of safe zones for unaccompanied children, and the increase in the number of accommodation facilities. However, Greek officials were urged to increase outreach efforts to identify child victims of trafficking, provide them with long-term assistance, and ensure that police investigate offenses, including financial crimes.