18 October 2022: EU Anti-Trafficking Day

18 October 2022


Athens, 18 October 2022


18 October 2022: EU Anti-Trafficking Day


"The Smile of the Child" stands by all those who have fallen victim to trafficking, especially children, by carrying out specialized actions of awareness raising and support, always in cooperation with the competent authorities.


The EU Anti-Trafficking Day was established by the European Commission in 2007 as a day for raising awareness and highlighting an issue, which unfortunately has taken on enormous proportions in our days and concerns both adults and children. In its 27 years of continuous action, “The Smile of the Child” has been developing a broad range of actions and initiatives on the ‘front line’ in the direction of prevention and tackling of the heinous phenomenon, while it stands by children victims of trafficking diachronically and holistically.

According to data of the European Commission, 21 million people annually fall victim to trafficking and almost 1 million of them in the countries of the European Union. Unfortunately this number is expected to increase due to the war in Ukraine as well as the increase in the wave of migration flows.

Human trafficking is a profitable business on an international level, with huge economic benefits. Subjects of trafficking are mainly forced labor, sexual exploitation, removal of organs, forced marriage, forced begging and criminality. The vast majority of cases involve women and young girls, while it is difficult to calculate the exact number of victims – people involved in trafficking rings.

"The Smile of the Child" stands by all those who have fallen victims to trafficking, especially children, by carrying out specialized actions of awareness raising and support, always in cooperation with the competent authorities.

The President of the Organization Mr. Costas Yannopoulos has pointed out that the action of trafficking rings extends to the places of temporary accommodation of refugees and migrants where disappearances are recorded, a vulnerable population group comprising mainly women and children, which is targeted by traffickers. Moreover, it is noted that most cases are not reported, which results to a lack of sufficient data to lead to safe conclusions, and the lack of protection of the victims as the search mechanisms are not activated.

“The Smile of the Child” has made available and free of charge, 24 hours/day, 365 days/year,  to all those in need and danger:

  • “European Hotline for Missing Children 116000”, recognized as an info desk for trafficking. The role of info desks is to:
    1. Operate Helpline for Support of Children Victims or Potential Victims of Trafficking
    2. Raise awareness and provide information to the public on trafficking, especially child trafficking
    3. Organize lectures, seminars and workshops on trafficking
    4. Promote targeted actions to vulnerable groups with the aim of raising awareness and preventing the phenomenon
    5. The “National Helpline for Children SOS 1056” is designated as a National Emergency Line and is interconnected with the European Emergency Number 112
  • Chat 1056 Application, a new a new way of direct communication for children who feel safer to chat through written text.
  • "European Helpline for Children & Adolescents 116111".
  • “National Helpline for Missing Adults 1017”, which provides free support to adults gone missing, their family and carers, while at the same time receives anonymous and named information for cases of missing adults, which it forward to the competent authorities.

All four Lines are interconnected with the Helpline of SAWA in Palestine, member of Child Helpline International (CHI), facilitating interpretation for Arabic-speaking persons in our country.

  • “Missing Alert App” Google Play here - για Αpp Store here

Designed and developed for "The Smile of the Child" by COSMOTE, and recently received the silver award at the Hellenic Responsible Business Awards 2021 in the sector “Technology for the common good-CSR apps”. The advanced application enables all citizens to contribute in real-time to missing person searches through the application on their mobile phone, but also to proactively protect their loved ones - children as well as adults at high risk of disappearance.

Following the information received through any of the means above, and if conditions are met, “The Smile of the Child” activates the Amber Alert Hellas mechanism upon the approval of the Hellenic Police.

  • Amber Alert Hellas is the National Coordinating Program for the timely and valid notification of citizens in cases of disappearance/abduction of minors. It comprises the immediate, valid and detailed information of citizens about the case of a missing child within only a few minutes after the authorities or "The Smile of the Child" have been notified about it. More than 152 private and public institution, as well as voluntary groups participate in the Program. Each institution communicatesthe details of the missing child and some other basic information through all means available, such us TV and radio spots, Facebook posts, SMS messages, announcements on airport screens, and more recently on ATM screens.
  • Missing Alert Hellas operates according to the model of Amber Alert Hellas, as a program for adults aged 18-60 who have gone missing or are at risk.

On the national level, "The Smile of the Child” cooperates on a constant basis with the Office of the National Rapporteur for Combating Human Trafficking, the police and prosecutorial authorities, the competent institutional bodies, services and civil society organizations in the field of prevention and combating of the phenomenon. Additionally, it has contributed significantly to the creation of the National Victim Referral Mechanism (EMA) established in January 2019 and coordinated by EKKA.

On the international level, "The Smile of the Child" participates actively in the global efforts against trafficking as an organization with consultative status in the Economic and Social Council of the UN (ECOSOC), associated with the UN Department of Global Communications (UN DGC), cooperating body with the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNDOC), member of the European Union Civil Society Platform against Human Trafficking, participating in the annual meetings of the OSCE Alliance for the Combat of Trafficking in Human Beings, member of the Migration Committee of INGO Conference of the Council of Europe, member of the Board of Directors of the International Centre for Missing and Exploited Children (ICMEC), member of the Board of Directors of the European Federation for Missing and Sexually Exploited Children (Missing Children Europe-MCE), member-Country Partner of the International Society for the Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect (ISPCAN), member of the WeProtect Global Alliance to end child sexual exploitation online, and Local Representative of The Code (of Conduct for the Protection of Children from Sexual Exploitation in Travel of ECPAT International.

"The Smile of the Child"
Press office
Tel. 210-3306140