Thursday, September 20, 2007

A serious moment here

Greece is one of those places that seem made for romance, particularly of the erotic variety! All those beaches and ruins! But there is a dark underbelly to sex that many visitors don't even guess at and that certainly doesn't come up in romances set in those fabled isles. Read the following (taken from the Amnesty International website) and then take action - forced sex and the erotic don't go together!

Protect the Rights of Trafficked Women in Greece

Greece has been a transit and destination country for trafficked persons since the early 1990s and has seen a continuous increase in the number of women and girls trafficked and forced into prostitution. The women mainly come from Eastern Europe and Africa. They often believe they are being brought to Greece to make a living but rarely know that they will be forced to work in the sex industry.

Many trafficked women remain unrecognized as such and face detention and deportation on charges such as unlicensed prostitution or immigration offenses. Only a few manage to overcome obstacles to being recognized as "victims of trafficking" by the authorities. Even then, the protection and assistance available to them comes at a price: they must "cooperate with the authorities" by testifying against their suspected traffickers whatever the risk of reprisals. In practice, the protection offered to them is often inadequate.

Trafficking of women and girls into forced prostitution is a human rights abuse and a crime in international and Greek law. The Council of Europe's Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings outlines the measures states must take not only to bring to justice perpetrators of this crime but also to protect and assist its victims. It is not yet in force, however, because it has not been ratified by the required number of states. Greece has signed but not ratified this Convention. Similarly it has signed but not yet ratified the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children, supplementing the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime (the "Palermo Protocol"). Write to the Minister of Justice and ask him to protect the rights of trafficked women in Greece.

To learn more, click here -

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