Hello! Welcome to this web page! At the bottom of this page you will find information about organisations that can offer help and support.
Young people matter
Young people escaping war and poverty arrive in Greece seeking safety and a better life. Unfortunately, there are people waiting to take advantage. It might be tempting to trust someone you meet, like a stranger (unconnected to a support organisation) who offers to help you. Sometimes, their promises are false, and you might find yourself trapped in a worse situation difficult to escape.
Your safety should always be your top priority
This page provides information about how to stay safe from exploitation and who to call if you need help and support.
Want to learn more? Click on the subjects below
What is human trafficking?
Human trafficking is the movement or recruitment of people, either through deception, coercion or force for the purpose of exploitation. Traffickers often profit financially from exploiting people. Refugees and Asylum Seekers can be targeted for exploitative purposes in Greece.
Organ traffickers sometimes forcibly remove organs without consent or through coercion. This is illegal and dangerous. It could cost you your life.
What recruitment tactics are used by traffickers?
There are many ways people might be lured and trapped into exploitation, including:
Refugees and asylum seekers are often offered help with travel and shelter in exchange for payment later. Don’t agree unless you know all the details. This is a method traffickers use to control and exploit people and an example of debt bondage.
It is very important that whatever choice you make, you ensure you put your safety as a top priority.
Could you spot a trafficker?
Traffickers have many faces. They can be any age, gender or nationality.
Survivors often say they were trafficked by partners, spouses, friends, even family members.
- Traffickers are usually motivated by financial gain and are masters in the art of deception.
- They know how to gain trust and make you feel special.
- They often target young people with offers of friendship.
- They may buy you gifts, give you money or offer you drugs or alcohol.
Unfortunately, traffickers’ prey upon people in a vulnerable situation. When trust is established, the trafficker’s kind behaviour may change, and they become controlling, even violent. Their aim was to lure you in, only to control and exploit you. They may convince you that the situation, even the abuse, is normal.
How do they control people?
Traffickers often force people into doing things they don’t want to do. They will pressure and force people to stay in the situation using threats and intimidation.
The trafficker may convince you the police are on their side. This is a lie. Trafficking is illegal in Greece.
Other control methods include:
If you have found yourself in a situation you want to escape, there are organisations that can help you.
The difference between smuggling and trafficking
Smuggling and trafficking both involve the movement of people, but there are differences.
Smuggling is a service someone requests, despite the danger, for illegal entry into a country. Once the journey and payments are complete, the exchange ends.
Trafficking involves either forcing a person to travel, or making false promises of jobs or safety at the end of that journey. Exploitation can occur at the final destination and/or during the journey.
Smuggling and trafficking can overlap with gangs working together as a criminal network
- The smuggler may be in contact with traffickers and provide information about new people arriving.
- The smuggler may even suggest a ‘trusted contact’ for the person to call on arrival. This ‘trusted contact’ might be a trafficker, waiting to exploit you.
How to keep safe
Always remember, be careful of who you trust. Your safety is very important. If you have been made an offer that seems suspicious, trust your instinct and leave the situation quickly.
When at a distance from the situation, inform someone you trust. There are details of organisations you can contact at the bottom of this web page.
What is an NGO support organisation and how can they help?
In Greece there are many organisations that provide support to Refugees, Asylum Seekers and specialist services that support people under 18.
These support organisations work independently from the police or government. They put the wellbeing and safety of the people they support above all else.
People might tell you that you cannot to trust these organisations – this is untrue. These organisations exist to help you.
These organisations are often referred to by various titles, including; Non-government organisations (NGOs), Not for profit organisations or charities.
These organisations provide a range of services, including:
Support for unaccompanied minors in Greece
If you under 18 and currently alone in Greece, or experiencing homelessness, there is support available to you.
- A Guardian is a person of reference for unaccompanied minors who they can rely on for help.
- The Guardianship Network acts in the following areas: Athens, Thessaloniki, Kavala, Orestiada, Lesvos, Chios, Samos, Kos, Leros, Thiva, Chalkida and Ioannina.
- It supports minors who are detained or staying in accommodation centers, in open or closed camps.
The members of the Guardianship Network act for the benefit of minors on issues relating to:
- asylum procedures
- family reunification procedures
- communication with the minors’ family members to determine their best interests
- psychosocial support
In addition to the above, the Guardianship Network members:
- develop meaningful and substantial relationships with minors
- visit museums and places for children’s activities
- participate in theatrical games and cooking classes
- create strong friendships with minors-beneficiaries of the project
- take actions to develop the minors’ talents
If you are under 18, alone and seek help, you can contact Metadrasi to access the support listed above.
Metadrasi contact details:
E-mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Do you need help and support?
Please mention STOP THE TRAFFIK if you make contact with any of the organisations listed below.
The 112 European emergency number
If you or anyone you know are in immediate danger, call the 112 European emergency number. The number is free of charge, 24/7, anywhere in the European Union. Citizens can dial 112 to reach the emergency services, including the police, emergency medical services and the fire brigade.
The Greek Forum of Refugees
The Greek Forum of Refugees is a network of refugee and migrant communities, as well as individuals and professionals working to support the rights of asylum seekers, refugees, migrants and stateless people. The association is based on Athens and it functions as the mediator of the State authorities and refugees themselves. Working hours: 09:00 - 17:00
If you are an unaccompanied minor and feel in danger or experience homelessness, you can contact METAdrasi for help and support. The helpline runs from 10.00 to 18.00, from Monday to Friday. You can call us or text us in WhatsApp and Viber.
Greek Council for Refugees
The Greek Council for Refugees aims to promote the rights of asylum seekers and refugees, through the provision of legal and social services. They prioritize the identification and treatment of the most vulnerable cases amongst asylum seekers, such as victims of racist violence, trafficking, torture and young people who are unaccompanied minors. They are based in Athens but have branch offices in Thessaloniki, Lesvos and are also present in Kos, Chios, Samos, Rhodes, Crete and Epirus/Ioannina. The address of the main office in Athens is 25, Solomou street, 10682, Athens.
The Smile Of The Child
The Smile of the Child protects children's rights, providing them with emotional and psychological support. They aim to save children from abuse, provide free healthcare access and assist children facing poverty. The National Helpline for Children SOS is 1056 and is staffed by social workers and psychologists who are available 24/7, 365 days a year. Calls to the helpline are free-of-charge from landline and mobile telephones, no card is required when calling from telephone booths, whereas calls from card phones do not require any credits. The Chat 1056 application is a new way of direct communication for children who more safe to communicate in writing. Through the Chat 1056 application, children receive online counseling and support services. The Chat 1056 application introduces unique features, encouraging children to express themselves in a secure environment - https://www.hamogelo.gr/gr/en/chat-1056/
116111 European Helpline for Children and Adolescents
The European Helpline for Children and Adolescents provides psychological support for free to children and adolescents. The service helps children in need of care and protection and links them to services and resources. The helpline operates on a 24/7 basis, 365 days a year. Calls to the helpline are free of charge.
PRAKSIS support vulnerable social groups, regardless of gender identity, sexual orientation, ethnicity, political or religious beliefs. They support people experiencing homelessness, poverty, and trafficking. They also provide support to asylum seekers, refugees, unaccompanied minors, sex workers, drug users, the Roma community and prisoners. The basic services provided by PRAKSIS are; health care, accommodation, psychological support, legal counselling, language interpretation, employment advice, cultural mediation, basic hygiene services (showers hygiene kits) and clothing and shoes. All services are provided for free. The phone-line is operational Monday-Friday, 09:00-17:00 but Praksis advise people send e-mails as the line can be very busy.
The STOP APP enables anybody who knows, has seen or even heard a situation that they believe to be human trafficking, to talk about it in a safe and secure space. You can report the incident anonymously and securely through the STOP APP. There will be no record of the report submitted on your phone.
- Have you seen a suspicious job advert online?
- Has someone offered you work that seemed suspicious?
- Are you or someone you know being forced to work, or being exploited?
Let us know. You can report your suspicions or observations by downloading our STOP APP. Make sure you are in safe place away from the suspected incident when making the report.
STOP THE TRAFFIK is a human trafficking prevention organisation. This app collects individuals’ stories of global human trafficking to disrupt and prevent this crime. We are not a rescue organisation and this app is not monitored 24/7 but will be checked on the next working day. If anyone is in immediate danger or a crime has been committed please contact trusted authorities.