Greece: The Trafficking of Women Morgan Parrish “ Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending.” ~Maria Robinson https://fisher.osu.edu/blogs/gradlife/files/athens-greece.jpg
Lured to Greece under false claims, countless Balkan women are promised better lives overseas, only to find themselves captured, beaten and raped. Their stories chill the soul, and the world’s ignorance to the problem baffles the mind.
The basic facts cannot be ignored… http://www.astra.org.rs/eng/wp-content/uploads/2009/10/25-27maj.jpg
Out of the annual 2 million women captured in the sex trade,
¼ are from Central and Eastern Europe
$6 billion the amount the Greek smuggling networks have earned since 1990 http://www.balcanicaucaso.org/var/obc/storage/images/topics/mafias/grand-trial-for-traffickers/245174-4-eng-GB/Grand-Trial-for-Traffickers_large.jpg
Women are trafficked to Greece – that much is evident. Yet, how does the process work? Usually, it goes something like this:
A poor woman (usually from the Balkan region or a former Soviet nation, in this case) sees an ad in her newspaper for a job overseas . It promises better life, good wages, and, to the woman, the hopes of being able to support herself. Sometimes, a marriage agency lures her in rather than an ad. Either way, she’s hooked. http://www.iom.int/jahia/webdav/shared/shared/mainsite/activities/featureproject/preventing-trafficking-and-protecting-victims-moldova.jpg
The woman travels overseas to the benefits she has been promised. At her destination, a man is waiting (often with other women). He takes her to her new “home” across the Greek border and into Greece. Upon arrival at her new “home”, the woman is captured, beaten, and raped . Her passport and all identification are taken from her . http://www1.american.edu/ted/images4/trafficking_human_beings2.gif
Rarely allowed a glimpse at the supposed money she earns, the woman is unaware of her debt or when it will be paid. Often she works for her captor until her death. Extra fines are placed for bad behavior, increasing her “sentence.” The woman is either sold into slavery (they can go for thousands of euros) or left in the possession of her original captor. Her new “master” requires that she earn money through prostitution in order to pay off her travel debts. http://www.epacvaw.org/local/cache-vignettes/L300xH251/arton364-8212a.jpg http://stufffromthelab.files.wordpress.com/2009/02/slavery.jpg
The trafficking of women is, unfortunately, not an uncommon occurrence in the world. Stemming from the ancient practice of male dominance, men feel the need to exploit women to assert their control. In fact, Great Britain, Italy, Germany, and France also face problems involving traffickers.
“ When ignorance is our master, there is no possibility of real peace.” ~Dalai Lama http://www.johnbakersblog.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2006/11/greece.jpg
A large portion of Greek males call on prostitutes on a regular basis , creating a popular demand for trafficked women.
The police in Greece have caught only a small portion of the criminals involved in the sex trade, making it a fairly safe region for the perpetrators.
Greece appears to be an unlikely candidate for trafficking problems. The nation is fairly industrialized and has been present for millennia. Yet, a few factors exist that make Greece the perfect target for the sex trade: “ Ignorance is no excuse, it’s the real thing.” ~Irene Peter
Language barriers exist between the victimized women and the Greek citizens, making it difficult to ask for help.
The women are threatened with their lives , along with the lives of their families, if they tell authorities.
“ Happy Trafficking” is now occurring. Women are promised a visit home on the condition that they return with a new girl. Basically, female victims are being employed as predators , making up 30% of modern suspects.
“ If there is no struggle, there is no progress.” ~Frederick Douglass http://www.armenianweekly.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/12/domestic_violence.jpg
Kitsantonis, Niki. "In Greece, Female Sex Victims Become Recruiters." The New York Times - Breaking News, World News & Multimedia . 29 Jan. 2008. Web. 22 May 2010. <http://www.nytimes.com/2008/01/29/world/europe/29iht-traffic.4.9581918.html>.
Pirovolakis, Christine. "Greece: Sex Trafficking Thrives." Stop Demand . Stop Demand Foundation, New Zealand, 6 June 2006. Web. 24 May 2010. http://www.stopdemand.com/afawcs0112878/ID=172/newsdetails.html.
Tzilivakis, Kathy. "New Fight to Stop Sex Trade." Athens News . Athens News Agency. Web. 22 May 2010. <http://www.helleniccomserve.com/sextrade.html>.