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LAW No 4251

Immigration and Social Integration Code and other provisions

 

1. For the implementation of the provisions of this code, the following definitions apply: 

(xi) Victim of trafficking means both the natural person for whom there are substantial reasons to be considered victim of any of the crimes provided for in Articles 323, 323Α, 323Β, 339(1) and (4), 342(1) and (2), 348Α, 348Β, 349, 351 and 351Α of the Presidential Decree, before criminal prosecution, and the person against whom any of the above crimes were committed and for which proceedings were opened, whether the person has entered into the country legally or illegally. Under the previous indent, when the victim of the crime set out in Article 336 of the Penal Code is a minor, he/she is a victim of trafficking.

The ‘victim of trafficking’ status is granted in a legal instrument by the competent Prosecutor of First Instance, both after the opening of proceedings against a crime provided for in Articles 323, 323Α, 323Β, 339(1) and (4), 342(1) and (2), 348Α, 348Β, 349, 351 and 351Α of the Penal Code and before criminal prosecution for any of these offences. In the latter case, the issuing of the instrument requires the written opinion of two specialists, either psychiatrists, psychologists or social workers, employed in a protection or assistance service or unit referred to in Articles 2, 3 and 4 of Presidential Decree 233/2003, as in force, or the Initial Reception Service, NGOs, the IOM, International Organisations or other specialised and state-recognised protection and assistance bodies, pursuant to the provisions of Articles 2, 3 and 4 of Presidential Decree 233/2003. The status-granting instrument is issued regardless of whether the victim is cooperating with the criminal investigation authorities, in those of the above cases where the prosecutor deems appropriate, following the prosecutor-general’s assent that the conditions set out in Article 1 (2) of Presidential Decree 233/2003 are met or that the victim is not cooperating because of threats against members of his/her family who are in Greece, in his/her country of origin or elsewhere and that, if the victim is not protected or removed from the country, these persons face an imminent danger.

 

Article 7 Categories of residence permits

1. A third-country national who has been granted a visa in Greece for one of the reasons set out herein must request a residence permit for the same reason on entry to the country, without prejudice to the more specific Articles of this Code, provided that he meets the requirements set out in the Code.

2. The categories of residence permits and the types of permissions that these include are:

E) Residence permit for victims of human trafficking and smuggling of immigrants

 

SECTION B ADMISSION OF THIRD-COUNTRY NATIONALS WHO ARE VICTIMS OF TRAFFICKING IN HUMAN BEINGS OR ACTIONS TO FACILITATE ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION, UNDER DIRECTIVE 2004/81/EC

 

Article 49 Reflection period

1. If not subject to the provision of Article 1(2) of Presidential Decree 233/2003, third-country nationals who have been characterised as victims of trafficking in human beings or actions to facilitate illegal immigration, pursuant to the provisions of Article 1(k) and (l) of this Code, shall be granted a reflection period allowing them to recover and escape the influence of the perpetrators of the offences so that they can take an informed decision as to whether to cooperate with the competent authorities.

2. Especially with regard to minors who are victims of trafficking in human beings or subject to actions to facilitate illegal immigration, this period may be extended by two more months by decision of the competent public prosecutor, taking due account of the best interests of the minor.

3. During the reflection period, the persons referred to in the above paragraphs may not be expelled. Any issued but not yet enforced decision on return shall be suspended.

4. By decision of the competent public prosecutor, the reflection period may be terminated prior to its expiry if:

a. the competent prosecuting authority establishes that the above person has actively, and at his free will and initiative renewed contact with the perpetrators of the offences referred to in Article 1(k) and (l) of this Code, or that the information taken into account for his characterisation as a victim of trafficking in human beings and actions to facilitate illegal immigration required under the provisions of Article 1(k) and (l) of this Code does not apply; or

b. there are reasons of public policy and security.

 

Article 50 Information to victims and special care for minors

1. The competent prosecutor at first instance or police authority or social support bodies referred to in Presidential Decree 233/2003, as in force, and any of the bodies referred to in Article 49 of this Code, shall inform the third-country national who is a victim of trafficking in human beings or actions to facilitate illegal immigration that he is entitled to apply for a residence permit, as set out above, and provide relevant information.

2. In the case of third-country nationals who are unaccompanied minors, the competent prosecuting authority shall take the necessary steps to establish their identity, nationality and the fact that they are unaccompanied. They shall make every effort to locate their families as quickly as possible and take the necessary steps to ensure legal representation, including representation in criminal proceedings, if necessary. If the minor’s family cannot be located or if considered that repatriation will not be in the best interest of the child, the competent prosecutor for minors or, where no such prosecutor exists, the competent prosecutor at first instance may order any expedient measure to protect the child until a ruling is delivered by the court, to which the prosecutor shall refer within thirty (30) days for the appointment of a guardian, pursuant to the provisions of Articles 1532, 1534 and 1592 of the Civil Code.

 

Article 51 Medical care and provisions during the reflection period

During the reflection period, the victims of trafficking in human beings or actions to facilitate illegal immigration shall have access to medical care and the psychological support services provided by the national health system, protection and assistance units and bodies that cooperate with the above, pursuant to the provisions of Articles 2, 3 and 4 of Presidential Decree 233/2003, as in force, and by reception services.

2. The above persons who do not have sufficient resources shall be granted standards of living capable of ensuring their subsistence.

3. The competent prosecuting, judicial and police authorities shall take due account, by priority, of the safety and protection of such victims, as set out in the relevant provisions. They shall also provide them with translation and interpreting services, information about their legal rights and the services available to them, and provide legal aid.

 

Article 52 Issue and renewal of the residence permit

A third-country national who is characterised as a victim of trafficking in human beings or actions to facilitate illegal immigration by instrument of the competent prosecutor at first instance, under Article 49, shall be granted, at his request to be filed in person or via the competent prosecutor, a residence permit or shall have the issued one renewed subject to no payment of fees, on the requirements and according to the procedure set out in the following Articles.

 

Article 53 Conditions for the issue and renewal of the residence permit

After the expiry of the reflection period, or earlier if the criteria set out in subparagraph (b) of this paragraph are met, the competent prosecutor shall consider if any of the following conditions are met and shall prepare a relevant report as to whether:

a. the prolonged stay of the said person in the Greek territory would facilitate the investigations or criminal proceedings;

b. the above person has shown a clear intention to cooperate; and

c. he has severed all relations with the purported perpetrators of the offences referred to in Article 1(k) and (l) hereof.

2. The application for a residence permit shall be examined by priority and the permit shall be issued by decision of the Minister for the Interior. Without prejudice to reasons relating to public policy and security, a twelve-month residence permit shall be issued if one of the conditions referred to in the previous paragraph are met. The permit shall be renewed for an equal period each time, if the same conditions continue to be satisfied.

 

Article 54 Rights The residence permit shall ensure:

a) right of access to the labour market, only during the period of validity of the permit;

b) the benefits and medical care referred to in Article 52;

c) conditions for vocational training and education, pursuant to the special provisions of Articles 5 and 6 of Presidential Decree 233/2003, as in force.

 

Article 55 Special reasons for non-renewal and withdrawal of the residence permit

The residence permit shall not be renewed or shall be withdrawn in any the following cases:

a. The beneficiary has actively and at own will and initiative renewed contacts with the purported perpetrators of the reported offences;

b. The competent authority believes that the victim's cooperation is fraudulent or abusive, or there are reasons of public policy and security;

c. The criminal proceedings relating to the offences referred to in Article (k) and (l) are completed pursuant to the provisions of Articles 43 or 47 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, or a final judgment has been delivered, which concludes the relevant proceedings. This provision shall not apply to victims within the meaning of Article 1(2) of Presidential Decree 233/2003.

 

Article 56 Change of purpose of residence

Within one month from completion of the relevant proceedings on delivery of final court judgment, the holder of a residence permit in the capacity of victim of trafficking in human beings or actions to facilitate illegal immigration may be granted a residence permit for one of the purposes and under the relevant conditions set out in the present Code, by decision of the Minister for the Interior or the secretary general of the decentralised administration. Pending the issue of the residence permit, due account shall be taken of the fact that the applicant has been a holder of a residence permit as a victim of trafficking in human beings or actions to facilitate illegal immigration.

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Article 129 Basic principles of social integration - Integrated Action Plan

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2. The Integrated Action Plan consists of sub-plans which among others include:

c) public awareness in relation to racism, trafficking in human beings and actions to facilitate illegal immigration;

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