Supreme Court prosecutor calls for better protection of victims of human trafficking
Greek prosecutors fighting human trafficking should revise their thinking about the victims, paying special attention to their testimonies and fighting the modern version of global slavery, a Supreme Court (Areios Pagos) judge said in a circular to courts on Thursday.
According to Kathimerini, the circular by Deputy Prosecutor of the Supreme Court Georgios Skiadaresis followed a letter by Greece's National Rapporteur on Human Trafficking Hercules Moskoff in which he said that most decisions by prosecutors on victims of human trafficking rejected their status as such, despite recommendations by the Greek police. In addition, Moskoff said in his letter, the few positive decisions have a short expiration date, which does not agree with the purpose and spirit of the Council of Europe's treaty on actions against human trafficking.
Supreme Court prosecutor Skiadaressis said in his circular to the first-instance and the appeals courts that "human trafficking with its entrapment of its victims is the modern version of the old global slave trading, and human beings are treated as commodities for sale and purchase and subjected to forced labor, usually in the sex industry, but also in agriculture and elsewhere, for meager remuneration or none at all."
He also noted that in practice, prosecutorial authorities - especially first-degree ones - have great difficulty recognizing a person as a victim of human trafficking.
"The known prosecutorial focus on the defendant is not enough - a special focus should be provided to the victim as well, so that if there is guilt the perpetrator of the modern form of slavery is sentenced justly," the prosecutor said.