Trafficking - Smuggling
«The Smile of the Child» has gained a lot of experience and primarily from the frontline of the protection and support of children victims / potential victims of trafficking. The actions carried out by the Organization concern the following areas:
- Direct social intervention
- Providing a safe living environment, psychological, medical and material support
- Prevention of the phenomenon
- Implementation of European projects
- Raising awareness among the public through informational campaigns
- Cooperation with the Office of the National Rapporteur on Trafficking in Human Beings and with other national and international partners, international organizations and non-governmental organizations.
Actions to protect children victims of Trafficking and Smuggling
for Children SOS 1056
The line operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and is staffed exclusively by qualified professionals, psychologists and social workers. The National Helpline 1056 is receiving and forwarding to the competent authorities, anonymous and named complaints and conducts on-site interventions in those cases of children at risk. Telephone conversations are confidential and are not recorded, whereas calls are free-of-charge from landlines and mobiles.
European Hotline for Missing Children 116000
116000 is the European Hotline for missing children (including potential trafficking victims). Today, the line is operated in the following EU Member States: Belgium, France, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, the Netherlands, Denmark, Germany, Estonia, Malta, Spain, United Kingdom, Cyprus, Bulgaria, Ireland, Slovenia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Croatia and Czech Republic. The line also operates in the following non EU member states: Switzerland, Albania and Serbia.
The line is available 24 hours and calls are free of charge. It is staffed by social workers and psychologists properly trained to offer support to parents of children who have gone missing, to receive feedback from citizens about a child missing case and being in contact with the competent authorities, where appropriate and also in direct cooperation with the police.
116000 Information Desks on Child Trafficking
This initiative was launched in July 2014 under the EU-funded project “Victor- Victims of Child Trafficking - Our Responsibility” and receives reports, provides services of support to children victims or potential victims of trafficking, provides referral services to partnering organizations, informs the public and promotes targeted actions addressed to vulnerable groups, in order to raise awareness and step-up prevention of child trafficking. The Info-Desk is based on the European Hotline 116000 and is operated by «The Smile of the Child»and can be promoted as a good practice for other European countries.
European Helpline for Children and Adolescents 116111
The line operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and is staffed exclusively by qualified professionals, psychologists and social workers. It provides counseling services. Telephone conversations are confidential and are not recorded and calls are free of charge from landlines and mobiles.
The House of the Child
The Day Center «The House of the Child» is the 1st specialized center of customized clinical mental health services for the therapeutic treatment and psychosocial rehabilitation of children and adolescents victims of any form of abuse, neglect or domestic violence, children involved in bullying incidents and generally children who have been exposed recently or in the past to severe traumatic experiences and hence suffer from mental health, adaptability or behavior problems. The interdisciplinary team of the Day Center undertakes the comprehensive and all-round diagnostic evaluation and treatment of complex disorders children-victims face. The services are free.
Shelter Accommodation for Children victims
«The Smile of the Child» operates a total of 10 Homes for children victims of violence. It receives requests for accommodation for children, among others victims of trafficking and smuggling by the competent prosecutorial authorities, the National Centre of Social Solidarity as the national coordinating authority within the national referral system, social services and other non-governmental organizations (NGOs). While hosting them, the children victims of trafficking enjoy full social and psychological support. «The Smile of the Child» also implements actions and cooperates with institutions in order to identify the child's family, safe repatriation and accompanies the minor to his/her country of origin, based always on the best interests of the child.
Actions to prevent Trafficking and Smuggling
Interactive prevention and awareness interventions in schools
In the area of prevention, «The Smile of the Child», under a Memorandum of Cooperation with the Ministry of Education, carries out interactive awareness and prevention interventions for students, teachers and parents. The interventions are made by a team of specialized psychologists using tools tailored according to the age and the children growth needs. These tools include inter alia: puppetry, Shadow Theater, experiential events and the use of new technologies. One of the themes discussed and developed is the Trafficking – Smuggling phenomenon.
In addition, under the project "Catch and Sustain" (see below), «The Smile of the Child» has created educational material for children, which is a package of training tools empowering vulnerable children through the explanation of the world on their own terms, their own past and their present, encouraging all children to understand the phenomenon of Trafficking and become multipliers of this experience. These tools can be widely used in Greek schools.
Informational & Awareness Campaigns
In the framework of the project VICTOR (see below), «The Smile of the Child»:
- created two television spot with an emphasis on prevention and demand reduction, in order to raise public awareness of human trafficking, especially children. The spot is running, including at a nationwide television channels.
- Developed a relevant website and the implementation of targeted actions promoting awareness messages through the use of social networking sites.
- Distributed leaflets attractions like ex: airports, schools and police stations.
- Participated in numerous events aimed at informing the public.
Impementation of European Projects
«The Smile of the Child», in cooperation with European partners, coordinates and implements projects in the field of trafficking. More specifically:
VICTOR - Victims of Child Trafficking: Our Responsibility (2013-2015)
The objective of this project was to strengthen transnational cooperation in tackling the phenomenon of trafficking in South-Eastern Europe through training of professionals/staff in the field of recognition of victims / potential victims of trafficking, the creation of stable structures of cooperation between stakeholders in the region and raising public awareness. As part of the project, the following actions were carried out in Greece:
- training of 170 professionals, structured around four specialized working groups: psychologists and social workers, doctors and health professionals, police officers and prosecutors, and judges.
- public awareness campaign of dual nature (awareness / decrease of demand)
- creation of the aforementioned media point (Info Desk)
Catch & Sustain (2013 -2015)
In the context of the project, «The Smile of the Child» contributed to the creation of educational materials, to both empower professionals in the field of the treatment and prevention of trafficking, while also to provide children living in conditions of vulnerability with a view to preventing the victimization of these children.
Southeastern European Center for Missing and Exploited Children (SEEC)
In October 2010, «The Smile of the Child» proceeded with the creation of the Southeastern European Center for Missing & Exploited Children (SEEC). The SEEC implemented actions aiming at:
- the development of stable cooperation structures with state and non-state actors active in the field of combating human trafficking in the SEE region
- the promotion of the Info Desks -116000 in the countries of the region
- the realization of study visits to provide technical support and know-how exchange
- the organization of international conferences aiming to better understand, prevent and combat the phenomenon. The most recent of them on the theme of "Missing Children in the Context of Child Trafficking" took place in Thessaloniki in May 2014, involving representatives of international bodies such as GRETA, Council of Europe, OSCE, ICMEC, MCE and IOM.
Cooperation with other institutions
«The Smile of the Child» works closely with:
- The Office of the National Rapporteur on Trafficking in Human Beings
- The Office of the EU Anti-Trafficking Coordinator
- Other relevant national and international governmental and non-governmental bodies
Within the framework of this cooperation and in order to assist in the joint formulation of effective policies, «The Smile of the Child» submits reports, memoranda and proposals as they arise through experience in the field.