Washington (ANA/T. Ellis) – The U.S. State Department has released the 2005 Trafficking in Persons Report which was made public on Friday. The 150-country report is the most comprehensive worldwide report on the efforts of governments to combat severe forms of trafficking in persons, or modern-day slavery.
According to the report, “Greece is a destination country for women, men, and children trafficked for the purposes of sexual exploitation and forced labour. Most victims come from Eastern Europe and the Balkans, some transit to other EU countries. Although the number of identified Roma and Albanian child victims decreased, they continued to be trafficked for commercial sexual exploitation and forced labor. Various sources noted a possible new trend of African women trafficked for the purposes of sexual exploitation.”
The report claims that the Greek government does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. Greece is placed on Tier 2 Watch List for a second consecutive year for its failure to show evidence of increasing efforts to combat trafficking, particularly in the area of victim protection and assistance.
“The government must develop an effective screening and referral process to prevent the involuntary detention and deportation of victims and consider the important role NGOs could play in this process. As previously suggested, a large-scale targeted demand reduction campaign would strengthen domestic anti-trafficking efforts.
“The government made some progress in protecting victims of trafficking in 2004. The government took important preliminary steps to improve protection by allowing foreign victims the opportunity to obtain residence and work permits- at least 24 permits were issued in 2004. However, potential trafficking victims without legal status continued to be inappropriately arrested and deported; many potential victims possessing legal status were not screened or recognized as having been trafficked. The government allowed only limited NGO access to potential victims in detention facilities. Notably, in 2004, Greece provided over three million Euros to NGOs to provide assistance to trafficked victims, opened three new government shelters and contributed to the operation of four NGO shelters,” the report said.
BUT THE RELATIONS ARE … EXCELLENT!
Bilateral relations between Greece and the United States are at an excellent level today, according to a statement by the U.S. State Department’s new spokesman Sean McCormack during a regular press briefing on Friday.
It was McCormack’s first press briefing since he assumed his new duties after serving as a National Security Council spokesman until recently.
Asked to comment on the issue of Cyprus, McCormack said that what has been repeatedly stated on the issue by his predecessor Richard Boucher is still valid.