The National Referral Mechanism for the Protection of Human Trafficking Victims (NRM) is a coordinating mechanism, which monitors all stages of victims' protectiom, beginning with their initial detection and identification, followed by the provision of protection services and support  during the legal process, up to their voluntary assisted return to their country of origin or integration in the country of arrival.

The importance of the NRM is reflected in Law No. 4198/2013 (transposition of the Directive 2011/36/ΕU) on the prevention and combat against human trafficking and the protection of victims, which lead to the establishment of the «National Mechanism for the Detection and Referral of Human Trafficking Victims» under the supervision of the Office of the National Rapporteur on Combatting Human Trafficking (ONR). By Joint Ministerial Decision No. 30840 the NRM was established in its present form and the National Centre for Social Solidarity (NCSS) was assigned with the NRM day-to-day operation, while the ONR would hold a supervisory and coordinating role.

In the end of 2018, the ONR announced the launching of the NRM’s operation aiming at the coordination of all actors involved in the detection and protection of victims, as well as the dimension of the phenomenon, through reporting and protection monitoring forms received by EKKA and the statistical analysis of the data extracted from them.

To fulfil its purpose, NCSS was supported by the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC/NORCAP) with the deployment of three experts as part of the Greece Capacity Building Project, funded by EEA Grants.

NRM’s operation was also supported with staff, information activities and an online platform, through the Project “Strengthening of the Operation of the National Referral Mechanism for the Protection of Victims of Human Trafficking”, funded by the Internal Security Fund – Police Cooperation 2014-2020.



What is Human Trafficking?

Definition of Human Trafficking (Article 2 paragraph1 of the Directive 2011/36/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 5 April 2011 on preventing and combatting trafficking in human beings and protecting its victims, and replacing Council Framework Decision 2002/629/JHA)

"The recruitment, transportation, transfer, harbouring or reception of persons, including the exchange or transfer of control over those persons, by means of threat or use of force or other forms of coercion, of abduction, of fraud, of deception, of the abuse of power or of a position of vulnerability or of the giving or receiving of payments or benefits to achieve the consent of a person having control over another person, for the purpose of exploitation."

Exploitation shall include, as a minimum, according to the Directive 2011/36/EU (article 2, paragraph 3) the exploitation of the prostitution of others or other forms of sexual exploitation, forced labour or services, including begging, slavery or practices similar to slavery, servitude, or the exploitation of criminal activities, or the removal of organs.


The exploitation purpose does not need to be fulfilled: In order to establish human trafficking, one action, with the use of at least one means, is sufficient (with the exception of underaged victims, where there is no need to detect the means) and with the aim of exploitation, even if the latter did not take place.

The victim has the right to access protection services, irrespective of their cooperation with the police: The (presumed) victim is entitled to the rights enshrined in the P.D. 233/2003 and Law 4251/2014 even before their cooperation with the police and even if they decide to not co-operate with them.

The victim’s transfer/transportation, either cross-border or within the country, is not a necessary human trafficking element: The transfer/transportation of the victim, either cross-border or not, is one of the actions included in the human trafficking definition. Human trafficking can be established even without the victim’s transportation, if one of the other actions in the definition has taken place (recruitment/harbouring/reception).

All human trafficking victims are entitled to the same rights regardless of whether the exploitation took place in Greece or abroad: According to article 8, paragraph 10, of the Greek Penal Code, the Greek penal legislation applies to any case of human trafficking regardless of the perpetrator’s and victim’s nationality, and even if the offense took place abroad (international jurisdiction principle). Therefore, the same legal protection framework applies to all victim categories.

Information Material




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