Pointing to “police negligence” and “investigation delays” and not taking action against the procurers, the Court ruled that Greece violated Article 4 of the European Convention on Human Rights, which prohibits “slavery and forced labor.”
Athens is sentenced to pay 12,000 euros in moral damages and 3,000 euros to the young woman who was saved several times from deportation before finally managing to be granted a residence permit in Greece.
The applicant was forced into prostitution upon her arrival in Greece in 2004 at the age of 22. In November 2006 she submitted a complaint for the first time against the procurers, but her application was rejected for lack of sufficient evidence.
The case was then presented in early 2007, persecution finally began in the summer of that year but was suspended two years later as the two defendants’ could not be found.
The ECHR judge is convinced that the Greek authorities did not remain indifferent while investigating the case.
“The preliminary investigation and research were marked by many shortcomings and long delays.” The name of the main alleged promoter trafficking young people joined the file of wanted persons. But from there, no “tangible steps were taken in tracing and bringing him to justice,” stressed the judge.
The ECHR decision is not final: the Greek authorities have three months to challenge it and ask that the case be reexamined, however, this is something in which the court is not obliged to consent to.