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Intern Update – 5/7/12 (Anastasios Kamoutsas)

Anastasios Kamoutsas, 3L

The A21 Campaign
Human Trafficking

On my first day of work, I read the entire Trafficking-In-Persons (TIP) report submitted for the past two years by the A21 Campaign, and familiarized myself with the human trafficking situation in Greece. I then brainstormed on what the government’s weaknesses were and thought of ideas that may help it to be more effective in complying with the standards of the Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act.

Later that day, my boss asked me to go to Turkey with him, and I was completely shocked. Yet without hesitation, I quickly responded, “I would love to!” I hastily packed my bags and embarked on the charming six-hour drive through the winding Everest Mountains that overlooked the humble white abodes along the coast. When we arrived in Istanbul, we were greeted by massive mosques every other mile. I had never seen anything like it before.

Our tour guide was a female pastor who started a church in the city center. The more I heard her testimony, the deeper my admiration for her grew. She had been on the mission field for twenty-five years, and had left Kazakhstan, where she was for thirteen years, to plant a church in the heart of Istanbul. After spending a day touring Istanbul with this woman and hearing how God is moving in Istanbul, I went with my boss to a couple of meetings while we were in Istanbul.

The purpose of these meetings was to conduct research and gain a better understanding of what the sex trafficking industry was like in Istanbul. Some of the organizations we met with were the International Organization of Migration and one of the only NGOs geared towards sex and human trafficking in Istanbul. Another purpose of our visit was to understand how the influx of immigrants illegally migrating into Greece, approximately 800,000 per year, affected the sex trafficking industry. Hearing the perspectives of these different organizations was definitely useful research and valuable to the A21 Campaign’s mission of combating human trafficking.

Anastasios Kamoutsas, 5/7/12