25 Φεβρουαρίου 2024

Patrick AUSTIN

Head of Centre for Operations a. i. & Head of Operational & Technical Assistance Unit, EUAA

EUAA greatly looks forward to participating the MEDUSA exercise.

Following the very successful AGNODIKI and PROMAHOS exercises organised by the Ministry during the previous years, EUAA welcomes the initiative to focus on practical measures to help prevent and eradicate this international crime that gravely impacts the lives of victims.

Trafficking in human beings is a multi-level crime with perpetrators operating from multiple locations and countries. It appears in multiple forms and it is closely linked to migration, asylum and vulnerable populations. Persons fleeing conflicts and emergency situations often migrate in unsafe and vulnerable conditions and cand be exploited and trafficked during their journey or at destination. Therefore, asylum and reception authorities, including frontline practitioners, can play a key role in the identification and protection of the victims and in the dismantling of criminal networks.

The complexity of modern-day trafficking and its international dimension calls for increased and equally complex cooperation of national and international authorities, as well as civil society. EUAA applauds the Ministry for bringing together in the MEDUSA exercise all relevant actors that must be ready to coordinate quickly and efficiently to protect victims of this crime.

The multiple scenarios and the practical and hands-on approach of the exercise will give the opportunity to test the coordination between stakeholders at different levels and its findings will contribute to enhanced cooperation among them in the future, so that victims do not go undetected in the context of migration and that they can access assistance and protection as well as that perpetrators are identified, investigated or prosecuted.

EUAA stands ready to provide its support both for the implementation of the exercise, as well as to build on the findings for further improvements in the system and enhanced cooperation among all actors to the benefit of victims.