Sofia Kouvelaki, CEO of The ΗΟΜΕ Project Receives the 2020 Child 10 Award
October 18, 2019 – Tens of thousands of children forced to flee to Europe during the last few years have either been exposed to or at great risk of being exposed to child trafficking and exploitation. Closed borders, lack of cross-national coordination and the dire and inhumane living conditions in the so called “safe zones” of refugee camps, detention centers, police stations and the street put children at particular risk of becoming victims of trafficking, forced labor, human smuggling, criminal activity and sexual exploitation and abuse. Thousands of children are today in danger of disappearing completely under the radar and becoming untraceable in transit and destination countries on their way to Europe. Since Europe closed its borders, children are forced to find other, often more dangerous routes towards it, increasing the risks of exploitation from smugglers and traffickers.
On the occasion of the EU Anti-Trafficking Day on October 18th, Child 10 has announced the 2020 Child 10 Awardees under the theme ‘Children in the hands of Europe’ for their strong commitment in combating child trafficking. Sofia Kouvelaki, the CEO of The HOME Project in Greece received the award for her work with The HOME Project’s, implementing a groundbreaking holistic child protection model, providing safe refuge and a multitude of services to support vulnerable children, eradicating the risk of trafficking on the dangerous journeys to Greece and after they arrive.
“Sofia Kouvelaki’s strong passion and supportive leadership to create sustainable long-term impact for children involving the local community transcends beyond her work. The HOME Project, a non-profit organization setup in the end of 2016 are people dedicated to protect and support the most vulnerable children arriving to Greece, whilst challenging the hostile narrative on migrants and refugees”, says Jacob Flärdh, Secretary General for Child 10 Award.
Sofia Kouvelaki will be participating in an award ceremony and high-level summit in Malmö in January 2020. The summit will be the starting point for the joint work that the Child 10 group will undertake in order to raise awareness and combat the risk of child trafficking and sexual exploitation and abuse on migrant routes to Europe.
”We are grateful and deeply honored to have received the Child 10 Award for the HOME Project child protection model, as a recognition of the provision of high quality services of individual care and support for each and every child that we care for, while enhancing community building on a local, national and international level. We are looking forward to collaborating with all awardees in joining forces to raise awareness and find more support in addressing the urgent child protection gap that exists for lone refugee children in Greece”, says Sofia Kouvelaki, CEO, The HOME Project.
The ten Awardees will each be awarded with a grant of 10,000 USD as well as a support program with organizational and individual support to strengthen, develop and create sustainability in their organization. The Awardees will furthermore join forces throughout 2020 in their advocacy and outreach work to draw attention to and prevent trafficking and sexual exploitation of children.