It is our great pleasure to announce that the Final Conference of the A4 project was successfully held in Athens, Greece, on 29.08.2023. The Conference focused on sharing the results of the project and particularly the developed policy recommendations to key institutional stakeholders (i.e. Ministry of Citizen Protection, Police HQs, National Referral Mechanism / National Rapporteur on THB) as well as actors within victim support services.
The Representative of the Office of the National Rapporteur on Trafficking in Human Beings in Greece, Mrs. Ekaterini Theofanaki, delivered the welcome speech, followed by the A4 Project Coordinator, Dr. Giorgos Triantafyllou, who walked the participants through the main steps of the implementation of the project and Zoe-Anna Kasapi (Scientific Coordinator, CECL) who presented the key findings of the research.
The first panel, moderated by Giorgos Triantafyllou, was dedicated to a comparative overview of THB in Greece, Bulgaria and Austria and the challenges and good practices identified. Ms. Eirini Vlachou (Lawyer, Anti-Trafficking Advisor, Greece), Dr. Blagorodna Makeva–Naydenova (Phd, LLM, external expert to Law and Internet Foundation, Bulgaria), Mr. Petar Subev (Director of the Regional Directorate “Border Police" – Airports, Bulgaria) and Mr. Norbert Leonhardmair (VICESSE, Austria) provided insight on the current situation regarding THB in the three participating countries and exchanged thoughts and ideas on the specific steps that need to be taken in order to effectively investigate and prosecute perpetrators, while also protecting the victims.
During the second panel, Ms. Theodora Gianni (EKKA), Ms. Angeliki Serafeim (Anti-Trafficking Legal Consultant), Dr. Blagorodna Makeva–Naydenova and Mr. Norbert Leonhardmair discussed the future policy landscape in the EU regarding THB.
In his speech during the closing session, Giorgos Triantafyllou lauded the positive results of the conference and noted the promising opportunities to further cross- border collaboration and engage in more effective policy-making processes.