07 February, 2008
Foreign Minister Ms. Dora Bakoyannis was given the opportunity to talk about Greece’s efforts to combat trafficking in human beings and particularly children at the presentation of a UNICEF publication on Wednesday 6 February at the Foreign Ministry together with the President of the Hellenic Committee for UNICEF, Mr. Lampros Kanellopoulos. The publication entitled “Combating child trafficking” sets out the problem’s global dimension, which affects around two million people every year and presents significant international initiatives to tackle this phenomenon. The coordinator of the event was the Foreign Ministry’s Secretary General for International Economic Relations and Development Cooperation, Mr. Theodore Skylakakis, and speakers also included PASOK MP Mr. Evangelos Venizelos, the Hellenic Republic’s Ombudsman for Children’s Rights, Mr. George Moschos, and Athens University Professor Ms. Dimitra Papadopoulou-Klamari. The Foreign Minister also referred to our country’s contribution to preventing this phenomenon, protecting the victims and cracking down on criminals. The national action plan on combating human trafficking is being implemented with the participation of the Foreign Ministry. Within the framework of these actions, the Foreign Ministry is contributing to strengthening cooperation with other countries and international organisations, finances victim support programmes and raising awareness campaigns. Our interest and actions are focused on three basic axes known as “the three Ps”: Prevention, Protection of victims, Persecution of perpetrators.
Concurrently, the TACT programme (Transnational Action Against Child Trafficking) is being implemented with a view to using this model of interstate cooperation with other countries as well. The Foreign Minister stressed that we should not lower our guard despite the efforts already undertaken. The Foreign Minister said: “What we say and do will not be enough as long as the exploitation of human beings – particularly children – by other human beings is still going on. We cannot have a clear conscience nor can we be proud of our achievements and our civilisation.”