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There is a general assumption in Greece and within the humanitarian sector that survival sex (the exchange of sex for basic needs (or money to purchase basic needs) or protection in order to survive) among unaccompanied and separated children takes place, yet its prevalence is unknown. However it is generally acknowledged that mainly boys engage in this practice.


Under international law children cannot consent to engage in exchanging sex for money, goods, or services. If they do engage in survival sex, they should be treated as survivors of sexual abuse and exploitation.


This phenomenon puts young refugees at an array of risks, from sexual exploitation and trafficking to physical and mental health vulnerabilities. However, there has been little factual documentation of the issue or significant well thought of interventions in Greece.


This presentation will focus on the findings on a situation analysis commissioned by UNHCR Greece on survival sex as well as outlining intervention recommendations and strategic approaches aiming to prevent sexual exploitation of unaccompanied children.


Suhail Abualsameed is an experienced professional with skills in gender and masculinities, sexual and gender based violence, international development, project coordination, cross-cultural education and community based research, within emergency response and development contexts.


Suhail has 15 years of thorough working knowledge on issues faced by diverse populations and minority groups with respect to gender and equity. He also has extensive experience dealing with issues relating to engaging men and boys in the prevention of sexual and gender based violence, refugees and migration, sexuality, determinants of health, and cultural competency.


  • To view the powerpoint presentation, click here.

    Proteknôn is derived from two Greek words: "in front of" and "child". As our name implies, we are senior child protection researchers and practitioners, focused on what children are facing, especially as it relates to their care, protection and wellbeing. In order to do this, we are committed to learning from and with girls and boys, of all ages, backgrounds and capacities.

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    Survival sex and exploitation of Children on the Move in Greece


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    By Suhail Abualsameed
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