Remarks at the Anti-Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Prosecutors Training (As Prepared)

January 30, 2013; 09:00

Ministry of Foreign Affairs

1 Akademias Street


Kalimera sas.

It is my great pleasure this morning to welcome you all to this important anti-trafficking in persons training sponsored by the U.S. Department of State and the Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons.  The U.S. and Greek governments have cooperated for many years on a wide range of law enforcement, immigration, and anti-trafficking issues.

We face many of the same transnational law enforcement challenges: organized crime, illegal migration, and trafficking – whether it is human beings, narcotics, or weapons.  We both recognize that in an era of increasing globalization, successfully fighting illegal activity requires us to cooperate and train together.

We are also more successful when we share our experiences and best practices in dealing with the prevention of trafficking, prosecution of traffickers, and protection of victims.  We have much to learn from each other.

The United States has made a substantial investment in time, money, and human resources to fight and prevent all types of trafficking.  Greece has very specific experience confronting a rather unique threat due to its geographic position as the entry point to Europe.  I want to commend Greece for its success in capturing many suspected traffickers in the past year.  But more work still needs to be done on the next steps: prosecution of traffickers and protection of victims.

The U.S. Government in recent years has developed particular expertise regarding how to investigate trafficking-in-persons cases, and how to interact and interview victims of trafficking.  We hope that by sharing our own experiences and best practices today via this course, victims of trafficking in Greece will benefit from your enhanced knowledge and skills.

I am sure that the next two days will be invaluable both for you and for the American experts from the Warnath Group who will be guiding this course.  Thank you all for your participation and your efforts to strengthen cooperation between Greece and the United States as we confront modern day slavery.  Thank you as well to the International Organization for Migration Greece, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the Warnath Group for organizing this training.

I wish you a successful two days of cooperation and exchange of ideas.

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