Greece has been settled at the crossroads of culture and history for thousands of years. Here you can find the ancient and the modern coexisting side by side. Although Greece is known for many things, such as beautiful islands, amazing food, and a coastline spanning thousands of miles with some of the best beaches this world has to offer, it also has a dark underside.
Considered to be the back door to Europe, Greece sees some of the highest flows of human migration into the European Union. This is due in large part to its strategic geographic location as a crossroads to the world, nestled right between northern Africa, Europe, and the Middle East. And where there are high rates of human migration, there is always human exploitation – primarily the exploitation of women through sex trafficking.
While human trafficking is a global criminal industry and shows up in nearly every country in the world, there are things that make Greece unique in how this phenomenon is manifested here.
In addition to being a transit country in the trafficking network, there is a legal framework for prostitution according to Greek law: prostitution is legal and therefore aids in the flourishing of this nefarious industry. With the added factor of rampant corruption and complicity across various levels of the public and private sector, justice and liberation can oftentimes feel beyond reach.
Athens Eleftheria is One Collective’s response to the enormity of human trafficking taking place within the borders of Greece – a response that seeks to bring about freedom and restoration to those who are marginalized and oppressed.
We work in collaboration with a network of various faith-based nonprofits, NGOs, and local faith leaders, all with a heart to bring about an end of human trafficking and to see lives set free from bondage and oppression. This is done through outreaches to the streets and brothel districts of Athens, vocational training programs, social services, and networking locally and abroad.
As we are encountering women who have been trafficked from all over Eastern and Southern Europe, Central Asia, the Middle East, South Asia, Africa, and Central and South America, it is essential that we work together as a multicultural and multilingual team, responding in a holistic way.
With human trafficking being such a complex issue, we seek to respond in a multifaceted way and are looking for those who want to join us in bringing about freedom to this country.
It is clear to us that God has always had His eye turned towards those who suffer from injustice, and His heart is one that is moved deeply to see freedom and liberation be brought to those in need. Eleftheria is the Greek word for freedom, and our mission and purpose as a collective community here in Greece is informed by these truths about the heart of God.