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GRETA visits Greece as part of the second evaluation round

Greece 4 March 2022
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GRETA visits Greece as part of the second evaluation round

A delegation of the Council of Europe's Group of Experts on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings (GRETA) carried out an evaluation visit to Greece on 28 February - 4 March 2022 as part of the second evaluation round of the Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings. The visit provided an opportunity to assess progress in the implementation of the Convention since the first evaluation report by GRETA published in 2017. Prior to the visit, the Greek authorities provided a reply to GRETA’s questionnaire for the second evaluation round.

During the visit, the GRETA delegation held consultations with relevant officials, including from the Office of the National Rapporteur for Trafficking in Human Beings, the National Centre for Social Solidarity (EKKA), the Special Secretariat for the Protection of Unaccompanied Minors, and the General Secretariat for Demography, Family Policy and Gender Equality. The delegation also met with representatives of the Ministry of Citizen Protection, the Ministry of Justice, the Ministry of Migration and Asylum, the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Education and Religious Affairs. The visit provided an opportunity to meet members of the police anti-trafficking units in Athens and Thessaloniki, prosecutors and labour inspectors in Athens, Thessaloniki and Peloponnese.

In addition, the GRETA delegation met with representatives of the Decentralised Administration of Peloponnese, Western Greece and the Ionian, the Mayor and Deputy Mayor of Andravida, and the Deputy Mayor for the Environment for Thessaloniki.

The GRETA delegation held separate meetings with the Greek Ombudsman, Mr Andreas Pottakis, and members of the Ombudsman’s Office, the Parliamentary Sub-Committee for Combating Human Trafficking and Exploitation, and the Greek National Commission for Human Rights.

Further, the GRETA delegation met with representatives of the International Organization for Migration (IOM), the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).

Separate meetings were held with representatives of non-governmental organisations, lawyers  and victims of human trafficking.

In the course of the visit, the GRETA delegation visited shelters for victims of human trafficking and centres for unaccompanied children in Athens and Thessaloniki. It also travelled to the village of Nea Manolada in western Peloponnese, where it witnessed the living conditions of undocumented agricultural workers.

The visit was carried out by Mr Kevin Hyland and Mr Peter Van Hauwermeiren, members of GRETA, who were accompanied by Ms Petya Nestorova, Executive Secretary of the Convention, and Ms Asja Žujo of the Secretariat of the Convention.

Following the visit, GRETA will prepare a draft report, which will be sent to the Greek authorities for comments. GRETA will subsequently adopt a final report which will be published after its adoption in November 2022.