Basic Information on Nea Zoi

After my recent experience of ministering in a brothel on Monday, I first wanted to share some facts on sex trafficking and prostitution in Greece and basic information about the Nea Zoi (which stands for New Life) ministry before I enter into telling of my experience.

Greece is a destination and transit country for women and children, trafficked for the purpose of sexual exploitation and for men and children trafficked for the purpose of forced labor. Bulgaria, Romania, Albania, other parts of Eastern Europe and the Balkans, Nigeria, and Brazil.

There are over 300 brothels in the city of Athens alone.
Prostitution is legal in Athens. Some of the women are willingly in the brothels and are free to go. However, most women are victims of human trafficking, brought to Athens with promises of a waitressing job or an education, and then abused and forced into the brothels. We learned of a woman from Nigeria who was sold by her cousin.
Brothels are legal if permitted, but the lack of a brothel permit is rarely enforced.

When police are told of a pimp’s location or of women who are victims (exploited, and not by choice) they will occasionally conduct a brothel raid to remove the girl and arrest the pimps.  Problem: many police officers tip off the pimps, so the pimps hide the girl.

Nea Zoi Goals:
Offers care, information, training as well as emotional and practical support to those working in prostitution to empower them for change and fight against human trafficking and sexual exploitation in the region.

What they do:
With weekly visits and telephone calls, they build relationships with individuals where they work in the red light district with the purpose of offering emotional and spiritual support and information.

Dina is praying now for a safe house, a place where women who leave can go to be safe from harm and also learn skills they need to survive and work outside. Many were brought into the brothels at a very young age and have little education, which makes if difficult to find work when they leave. Many do not speak Greek or English, may not be able to read, cook, or have any skills they can use. 

What to Pray for:
   *The dozens of enslaved people met in Athens each week
   *Viable options and hope to be restored in their home countries
   *Just laws and for lawmakers to act with integrity
   *Change in Greek social attitudes towards prostitution
   *The worldwide church to actively play a role in prevention and restoration.
   *Wisdom for Nea Zoi as they seek God's will for the ministry
   *A safe house/shelter for the women who come out
   *Safety for volunteers during street outreaches


No comments:

Post a Comment