Young People Seeking Sanctuary in Greece

Information for Refugees and Asylum Seekers about how to stay safe and access support

Hello and welcome! If you are in Turkey and planning to travel to Greece, this page contains useful information. At the bottom of this page you will find information about organisations that can offer help in Turkey and Greece.

Young people matter

Useful information for Refugees and Asylum Seekers travelling to Greece.

Young people escaping war and poverty arrive in Turkey and Greece seeking safety and a better life. Unfortunately, there are people waiting to take advantage. It might be tempting to trust someone you meet, like a stranger (unconnected to a support organisation) who offers to help you. Sometimes, their promises are false, and you might find yourself trapped in a worse situation difficult to escape.

Your safety should always be your top priority

This page provides information about how to stay safe from exploitation and who to call if you need help and support.

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Human trafficking is the movement or recruitment of people, either through deception, coercion or force for the purpose of exploitation. Traffickers often profit financially from exploiting people. Refugees and Asylum Seekers can be targeted for exploitative purposes in Turkey and Greece.

Organ traffickers sometimes forcibly remove organs without consent or through coercion. This is illegal and dangerous. It could cost you your life.

There are many ways people might be lured and trapped into exploitation, including:  

Refugees and asylum seekers are often offered help with travel and shelter in exchange for payment later. Don’t agree unless you know all the details. This is a method traffickers use to control and exploit people and an example of debt bondage.


It is very important that whatever choice you make, you ensure you put your safety as a top priority. 

Traffickers have many faces. They can be any age, gender or nationality.

Survivors often say they were trafficked by partners, spouses, friends, even family members.

  • Traffickers are usually motivated by financial gain and are masters in the art of deception.
  • They know how to gain trust and make you feel special.
  • They often target people with offers of friendship or help with travel or finding work.
  • They may buy you gifts, give you money or offer you drugs or alcohol.

Unfortunately, traffickers prey upon people in a vulnerable situation. When trust is established, the trafficker’s kind behaviour may change, and they become controlling, even violent.  Their aim was to lure you in, only to control and exploit you. They may convince you that the situation, even the abuse, is normal.

Traffickers often force people into doing things they don’t want to do. They will pressure and force people to stay in the situation using threats and intimidation.

The trafficker may convince you the police are on their side. This is a lie. Trafficking is illegal in Greece.

Other control methods include:


If you have found yourself in a situation you want to escape, there are organisations that can help you.

Smuggling and trafficking both involve the movement of people, but there are differences.

Smuggling is a service someone requests, despite the danger, for illegal entry into a country. Once the journey and payments are complete, the exchange ends. 

Trafficking involves either forcing a person to travel, or making false promises of jobs or safety at the end of that journey. Exploitation can occur at the final destination and/or during the journey.

Smuggling and trafficking can overlap with gangs working together as a criminal network

  • The smuggler may be in contact with traffickers and provide information about new people arriving.
  • The smuggler may even suggest a ‘trusted contact’ for the person to call on arrival. This ‘trusted contact’ might be a trafficker, waiting to exploit you.

Always remember, be careful of who you  trust. Your safety is very important. If you have been made an offer that seems suspicious, trust your instinct and leave the situation quickly.

When at a distance from the situation, inform someone you trust. There are details of organisations you can contact at the bottom of this web page.

There are many organisations that provide support to Refugees, Asylum Seekers and specialist services that support people under 18.

They put the wellbeing and safety of the people they support above all else.

People might tell you that you cannot to trust these organisations – this is untrue. These organisations exist to help you.

These organisations provide a range of services, including:

If you under 18 and currently alone in Greece, or experiencing homelessness, there is support available to you.

Guardianship Network  

  • A Guardian is a person of reference for unaccompanied minors who they can rely on for help.
  • The Guardianship Network acts in the following areas:Athens, Thessaloniki, Kalamata, Orestiada, Lesvos, Chios, Samos.
  • It supports minors who are detained or staying in accommodation centers, in open or closed camps.

The members of the Guardianship Network act for the benefit of minors on issues relating to:

  • asylum procedures
  • family reunification procedures
  • communication with the minors’ family members to determine their best interests
  • healthcare
  • education
  • psychosocial support

In addition to the above, the Guardianship Network members:

  • develop meaningful and substantial relationships with minors
  • visit museums and places for children’s activities
  • participate in theatrical games and cooking classes
  • create strong friendships with minors-beneficiaries of the project
  • take actions to develop the minors’ talents

If you are under 18, alone and seek help, you can contact Metadrasi to access the support listed above.

Metadrasi contact details:

WhatsApp and Viber: +306908091433

E-mail address: [email protected]

Do you need help and support?

Have you or someone you know have been mistreated or exploited? If yes, please contact these organisations for free confidential help and advice. 

Please mention STOP THE TRAFFIK if you make contact with any of the organisations listed below.


Yimer 157

In Turkey, the YIMER 157 is telephone hotline operating a non-stop service 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The helpline supports victims of human trafficking and can provide information about your visa, residence permit, international protection and temporary protection. The hotline provides information in languages Turkish, English , Arabic, Persian, Russian, German and Pashto. If you are in Turkey, dial the hotline 157.


[email protected]



The 112 European emergency number

If you or anyone you know are in immediate danger, call the 112 European emergency number. The number is free of charge, 24/7, anywhere in the European Union. Citizens can dial 112 to reach the emergency services, including the police, emergency medical services and the fire brigade.

The 1109 National Human Trafficking Hotline

The hotline is available to answer all urgent calls related to human trafficking from anywhere in the country, 24/7, anonymously and with the ability for translation in over 200 languages. To call from Greece dial 1109.


[email protected]

Mobile Info Team

Mobile Info Team supports refugees and asylum seekers in Greece with vital information and assistance for the full duration of their asylum procedure. They offer an overview of their rights, obligations and options, preventing them from taking unnecessary risks. They offer services in Arabic, Urdu, Farsi and Bengali. Facebook: www.facebook.com/mobileinfoteam

0030 694 222 2535

[email protected]

The Greek Forum of Refugees

The Greek Forum of Refugees is a network of refugee and migrant communities, as well as individuals and professionals working to support the rights of asylum seekers, refugees, migrants and stateless people. The association is based on Athens and it functions as the mediator of the State authorities and refugees themselves. Working hours: 09:00 - 17:00

0030 213 028 2976

[email protected]



If you are an unaccompanied minor and feel in danger or experience homelessness, you can contact Metadrasi for help and support. The helpline runs 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. In addition to a landline number, it is also accessible via a mobile number.

0030 6908091433

[email protected]


The Greek Council for Refugees

The Greek Council for Refugees aims to promote the rights of asylum seekers and refugees, through the provision of legal and social services. They prioritize the identification and treatment of the most vulnerable cases amongst asylum seekers, such as victims of racist violence, trafficking, torture and young people who are unaccompanied minors. They are based in Athens but have branch offices in Thessaloniki, Lesvos and are also present in Kos, Chios, Samos, Rhodes, Crete and Epirus/Ioannina. The address of the main office in Athens is 25, Solomou street, 10682, Athens.

[email protected]


The Smile Of The Child

The Smile of the Child protects children's rights, providing them with emotional and psychological support. They aim to save children from abuse, provide free healthcare access and assist children facing poverty. The National Helpline for Children SOS is 1056 and is staffed by social workers and psychologists who are available 24/7, 365 days a year. Calls to the helpline are free-of-charge from landline and mobile telephones, no card is required when calling from telephone booths, whereas calls from card phones do not require any credits.


[email protected]



PRAKSIS support vulnerable social groups, regardless of gender identity, sexual orientation, ethnicity, political or religious beliefs. They support people experiencing homelessness, poverty, and trafficking. They also provide support to asylum seekers, refugees, unaccompanied minors, sex workers, drug users, the Roma community and prisoners. The basic services provided are; health care, accommodation, psychological support, legal counselling, language interpretation, employment advice, cultural mediation, basic hygiene services (showers hygiene kits) and clothing and shoes. All services are provided for free. The phone-line is operational Monday-Friday, 09:00-17:00 but Praksis advise people send e-mails as the line can be very busy.


[email protected]


Defence for Children International

Defence for Children International defend children’s rights three ways: documenting violations of children’s rights; advocating for greater protections; offering free legal aid

+30 21 1413 6664

[email protected]


116111 The European Helpline for Children and Adolescents

The European Helpline for Children and Adolescents provides psychological support for free to children and adolescents. The service helps children in need of care and protection and links them to services and resources. The helpline operates on a 24/7 basis, 365 days a year. Calls to the helpline are free of charge.



The STOP APP enables anybody who knows, has seen or even heard a situation that they believe to be human trafficking, to talk about it in a safe and secure space. You can report the incident anonymously and securely through the STOP APP. There will be no record of the report submitted on your phone.

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  • Have you seen a suspicious job advert online?
  • Has someone offered you work that seemed suspicious?
  • Are you or someone you know being forced to work, or being exploited?

Let us know. You can report your suspicions or observations by downloading our STOP APP.  Make sure you are in safe place away from the suspected incident when making the report.

STOP THE TRAFFIK is a human trafficking prevention organisation. This app collects individuals’ stories of global human trafficking to disrupt and prevent this crime. We are not a rescue organisation and this app is not monitored 24/7 but will be checked on the next working day.  If anyone is in immediate danger or a crime has been committed please contact trusted authorities.