"Every trafficking story is a story that can shake you to your core. We're talking about children sometimes, about babies… We're talking about women at very vulnerable ages. We're also talking about men that desperately seek employment and find their hands into criminal gangs that would exploit them for sexual purposes to any other purposes."

Ilias Chatzis heads the team fighting human trafficking and migrant smuggling at the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime. In this episode, he joins podcast host Melissa Fleming to talk about how a man who grew up on a Greek island came to have a burning sense of justice and a crime-fighting career of more than 25 years.

In this conversation, Ilias describes how reports about online abuse of children and sexual predation of women have surged during the COVID-19 pandemic and how criminals are always adapting to new technologies to exploit their victims.

Ilias also shares his concerns over the lack of resources worldwide to fight trafficking and smuggling and why we must learn from history if we are to ever overcome these scourges.


Full Transcript +


Melissa Fleming  00:00

From the United Nations, I'm Melissa Fleming, and this is Awake At Night. Joining me today is Ilias Chatzis, the Chief of the Human Trafficking and Migrant Smuggling Section at the UN Office on Drugs and Crime. Ilias, what a title, first of all! We'll talk about that. You've held a number of positions dealing with organised crime and trafficking networks, what sparked you to want to work in this world of fighting crime?

Ilias Chatzis 00:51

Crime is a part of everyday life, unfortunately, and there’s so little done to really eradicate it. There's so many aspects of it, that we have to build on every day, from everyday life to really serious crimes. I'm trained as a lawyer so I'm an attorney at law. So I practice law. I also saw the injustice from firsthand, I was a defense attorney so I was on the other side of the bench. And I always felt that I could do something about it. It was also the subject matter was extremely interesting for me. I'm a criminal lawyer. So these are issues that I really like to deal with, and also, hopefully, make a difference.

Melissa Fleming 01:29

Is there a moment in your life when you thought, I want to fight crime? Can you think back and when that might have been as a young man?

Ilias Chatzis 01:37

I think it's more of a process, where you start studying law, then you become intrigued about certain aspects of it, then you want to look much deeper into it when you understand what's going on out there, then you wanna do something about it. I think it's more of a process rather than a particular moment in life.

Melissa Fleming 01:54

I believe you grew up on a Greek island and what made you decide to study law and not maybe go into tourism?

Ilias Chatzis 02:04

Actually, my first inclination was archaeology because I have a deep love for history. Because I think it shows you what drives people, what makes people do things. Unfortunately, people do not read history enough. I think they read about events but not about what's behind it, what motivates people, what were the conditions and that's why as, I think, a human race, we keep doing the same mistakes. 

And the law for me is a means of addressing these issues, at least one of the means to address the shortcomings that we have as a race, as  [a] human race. So that's why I think I jumped from archaeology to law, and then to international law, because at the time, it was the beginning of the 90s/late 80s, you know, the world was changing. It was a totally new environment out there, totally unknown. With the end of the Cold War, you know, that the Gulf War, the first Gulf War, you know, the breakup of Yugoslavia, then the Soviet Union, things were changing dramatically. There were so many issues to deal with, and so many new issues emerging at the same time.

Melissa Fleming 03:05

And what about what were things like in Greece? I mean, was there something you first wanted to tackle in your own home country?

Ilias Chatzis 03:13

It was, again, dealing with law; criminal law. So you start with what you can see what you have in front of you and then you, kind of, go to a wider area. So in Greece, I practiced law for a couple of years, honestly speaking, practicing law was, especially as a defense attorney was not what I thought it would be so I wanted to change. I had also done studies on strategy and international law and human rights and then the emerging sort of discussion about war crimes for the first time in Europe since the end of the Second World War. So all these things kind of naturally led me to my career path.

Melissa Fleming 03:55

Can you describe your childhood a little bit?

Ilias Chatzis 03:58

I remember that it was a very happy childhood, very happy childhood. It was a very small island. I think at the time was maybe 1,200 people overall. The village, the main village, where I used to...where I grew up was like four or five hundred people. The school was two teachers for the entire six classes of primary school. There was no gymnasium. No high school. 

At the same day, it was a very original, very pure environment. My mother was a teacher there. My father was a civil servant. So I remember I have a sibling, I have a sister so it was a very, very happy childhood I remember it. But then we needed to move of course because at a certain stage you know such an environment does not offer the opportunities you need as a child, you know, to grow to learn different things to have sports, to languages, to other things.

Melissa Fleming 04:46

So for a small child, it was an idyllic place to grow up at least?

Ilias Chatzis 04:50

That’s how I remember it at least! For other people [it] may have been too, you know, confined, too small but, for me, I remember very, as you describe, idyllic. I also remember a lot, of course, there were difficult moments, you know, my friends leaving at the end of the summer, leaving me alone back on the island, you know, long winters. I mean the islands, you know, very nice in the summer in the spring, but they're very difficult in Autumn and Winter when there's nobody around. So that was the other aspect of it, you know, which I don't miss that much, but you know, the freedom, the carelessness, when you’re carefree. There was no danger on the island, there was no crime on the island. I remember [it wa] pretty idyllic, as you said.

Melissa Fleming 05:30

So your parents moved you to Athens…

Ilias Chatzis 05:33

To Athens, we moved to Athens. At the age of ten. 

Ilias Chatzis 05:36

Yes, yes, at the age of ten. 

Melissa Fleming 05:36

So that you could go to high school, you could pursue your studies and they were happy that you became a lawyer?

Ilias Chatzis 05:26

Yes, I think they were quite happy. They didn't know the path that I would choose later on. I think maybe if they knew that I would go abroad and work, I think they would have been a bit terrified at the beginning. You know, my mother passed away when I was, you know, when she was very young, at the age of late 50s. She suffered from ALS which causes...quite a difficult horrible disease, as it is now. 

And my father was, you know, he had a stroke so he was, you know, incapacitated in a number of ways so it was basically for my mid-20s, it was myself and my sister really taking care of things. If you ask me I think, they would have been afraid at the beginning, you know, going abroad alone with no sort of support system behind me; no family with me; no friends in a foreign country where I ended up working. But I think at the end I think they would’ve been quite happy with what I do now and how professionally I grew up, and definitely, I did a lot of different things.

Melissa Fleming 06:44

That must have been really hard for you in your early twenties to lose both of your parents. Was your mother sick for a while or did this come on suddenly, this ALS, which stands for?

Ilias Chatzis 06:55

I'm sorry, I don’t really remember the acronym. It’s the amyotrophic...it’s a very...
Melissa Fleming 07:00

But it’s a degenerative disease? 

Ilias Chatzis 07:03 

Yes, yes, yes and my father is still alive but he suffered from a stroke that, you know, deprived him of some of not physical function but some of his capacity to speak to, to do the things that he used to do before. So he was, I mean, we had to be there for him after that, that stroke. Ah yes, it was very difficult. I think it shaped me in a way. It actually made me probably want to leave more, the urge to leave stronger than it would have been maybe otherwise. But you know, you overcome these things. I mean, it's part of life and you just look forward and you continue.

Melissa Fleming 07:38

How did you get into this international field and maybe just briefly tell us, what is your job now? What does it entail?

Ilias Chatzis 07:47

Right now, as you said, from my very long title, I'm heading the team that is dealing with human trafficking and migrant smuggling. We are part of a relatively small office of the United Nations here in Vienna but we cover, you know, all the geographic regions and we do have a number of various who work directly with countries to help them practically eradicate this crime. So it's pretty demanding work.

It evolved a lot. It has changed a lot since I first took over this job. I think the crimes have also changed a lot. They have become more severe in the sense of what they inflict on people or at least they have become more visible or more noticeable and that had also, of course, a positive effect, because it has led to more attention by countries and more desire to do things. Nobody's going to say that they don't want to fight trafficking or that trafficking is a good thing or that it promotes, for example, the economy or whatever. Everybody at a policy level, don't want to have anything to do with this crime. And I think that's a positive thing. The question is, of course, between words and deeds, there's a big gap. There's a lack of means. There's a lack of resources. There’s a lack of understanding. But as I said, there is a political will, especially for drafting persons.

Ilias Chatzis at the Alliance against Trafficking in Persons Conference

Melissa Fleming 09:05

I know you're very passionate about this subject. How does it make you feel to hear these stories, and maybe you can give us an idea so we can just understand maybe an example of a story that has just really outraged you?

Ilias Chatzis 09:20

I know that it may sound cliche but every trafficking story is a story that can shake you to your core. We're talking about children sometimes. We're talking about babies sometimes. We're talking about women at very vulnerable ages. We're talking about, you know, men also that desperately seek employment and find their hands into criminal gangs that would exploit them for sexual purposes to any other purposes. And honestly speaking, there are very few brave and capable people that are able to come above it. And when they are rescued and when they are saved, they're able to build their lives. 

And honestly speaking, I'm... I don't think I'm trained enough, well enough, to talk to so victimised people so, in a way, I try not to go too deep into their stories because it's, unless they want share it. And it's a very delicate balance when you meet these people because, you know, you want to see what happens so you can help but at the same time, you don't want to revictimise them. So it's a very... 

From my side at least, I'm trying to help from a distance, and the stories that these people share when they share it with us, they are horrible stories. You know, they also happen in all kinds of settings, they happen everywhere. Trafficking is not a crime that is in the developing world. It's a crime that is next door. You know, it's a crime that can happen in front of our eyes as we coming to work today. I mean, it’s a child begging in the streets, you know, they take them in groups and they take them from country to country, Europe, for example. And they basically take all the money. They just give them food only to survive so they look also miserable and they are dirty, and they're not taking care of. 

There are kids also, you know, in other parts of the world that are used from armed groups to support armed groups with supplies, with sexual services, with cooking, even carrying arms. You know, I'm not talking about this solely about children. I mean, about women, you know, the sexual exploitation. It changed to become even more difficult and uglier. You have now the online aspect of the crime. You have victims who are victimised online. 

They are blackmailed into sending sexual images, for example, online, and then they are out there, and there is nothing that can stop them. There's no way you can stop a video from being distributed around the world through the different channels, no way, practical way. You can take them from one platform, it pops up to the other one. It has become more violent in some aspects, but also more present because now the online world is part of our everyday life. You know, you use it now, you know, with COVID, we're all in front of our screens. We have increasingly reports about the abuse of children during this period, sexual abuse of children online. Increasingly reports about sexual predation of women online. And this is not going to go back if the pandemic ends, it's going to remain and it's going to get, unfortunately, I think worse. Now, you asked me also, how did I want to do this job? I think I explained a little bit about this and yeah, the fact that you can hopefully make a difference at some stage.

Melissa Fleming 12:43

It sounds like it's so much bigger than any of us realise because a lot of it is indeed invisible. What does it make you feel when you know, these human beings are out there committing these horrific crimes against other human beings. It’s like different than stealing, or this is just, as you said, it just completely devastating for that other human and probably, you know, will ruin their lives.

Ilias Chatzis 13:16

I always feel that I don't do enough. And I always have a sense of guilt that I, we, don't do enough for this and there are different levels that we can act. There's the level of immediate action, which is criminalise it, get the criminal gangs behind bars, get the victim saved, help them get back on their feet. But there is also all the background; what led to this crime, what led you to be spread so much, you know, it's everywhere. It manifests itself differently, depending on where you are and what is the economic model of the place you're looking at?

So, for example, in certain countries, [it’s] mostly forced labour, trafficking for forced labour. In other countries, which is countries that suffer from overpopulation, for example, it’s children. In Europe, in North America, it's mostly sexual exploitation. In the long term, as I said, I think it’s… we need to really look into our model of development and to how our economies are structured and where they are based upon and what also the private sector does. They have a huge responsibility in this area and it has, you know, it's been realised so there are a lot of efforts done. But we have companies that basically have the size of small countries or maybe even medium-sized countries, with huge supply lines so there's also responsibility of the private sector to do a lot of things.

Ilias Chatzis and Yatta Dakowah, the UNODC Representative in Brussels

Melissa Fleming 14:47

And that's what you tell them?

Ilias Chatzis 14:48

Yes, I do, we do. We all do.

Melissa Fleming 14:52

Have you ever sat face to face with a CEO of the company and said, ‘You have a problem.’

Ilias Chatzis 14:59

They will all say that they're doing the best and I do believe it, but it's not enough. It's not enough. And especially the communication companies, the social media networks, they have an increased responsibility to deal with these issues. And, honestly speaking, these companies have such a huge turnover of profits that they shouldn't spare resources to do this. It should not be a matter of how much it costs or what needs to be done, they should be able to do it. I’m sorry for being so passionate, but I think there is something that goes beyond what we can do with the international arenas, international organisations, because a lot of these companies have so extended operations that are basically beyond any single country have to deal with.

Melissa Fleming 15:48

You’re talking about Facebook and Twitter and Instagram?

Ilias Chatzis 15:52

Yes, and also other companies, you know, production companies, mobile phone companies, all of them, you know, they have their tremendous responsibilities. It has so many aspects, you know, that's what I said, the online aspect, the internet aspect of the crime has become an issue in itself.

Melissa Fleming 16:08 

It must be possible for them to detect when a child or a woman is being sexually exploited online on these very popular platforms?

Ilias Chatzis 16:19

There are ways, yes. There are ways, there are software. There are ways, as always, the crime is a step ahead. 

Melissa Fleming 16:25

Why is that? 

Ilias Chatzis 16:27

Because the crimes, that's how... that's what it is. To take place, it has to be beyond you and beyond your ability to reach them, you know. Once you get there. then they find another way to do it. Once you get there, they’ll do another one. Yes. Then you have to be able to proactively try to close doors that could open in the future for them. The criminals are dedicated, for sure, because they are... its profit for them, everything is money for them, you know, especially you will see that very well in trafficking. 
They don't care about the people, you know, they don't care about what they inflict. During COVID, they just left victims, just like that. Some of them really literally almost starved to death. Because they had no documents, they were afraid to go out, they were afraid to seek help. Women that were basically closed, that were exploited for prostitution. They were left in the rooms as they were where the traffickers will keep them with no food, no water, nothing. We had cases like this. They didn’t care.  

Melissa Fleming 17:30

Because COVID shut down that industry but they got their money by getting them there to those rooms?

Ilias Chatzis 17:35

Yes, and then they would, you know, they knew they would always get the hands of the victims once it's over. And once they're back in business and, in the meantime, they will find other ways. They move them to private apartments, those that were possible, you know, to do. Smaller-scale business but still very, very profitable for them and, you know, when the bars and the dancing clubs close, they move to apartments. You know, they wouldn't stop.

Melissa Fleming 18:03

What's keeping you awake at night these days?

Ilias Chatzis 18:05 

All the things we discusse, you know? All the things we discussed. 

Melissa Fleming 18:09 

Especially, what is especially, like, waking you up in the middle of the night?

Ilias Chatzis 18:14

I mean, human suffering does. You know, I saw it also firsthand in my previous... you know, before this job when I was in, you know, post-conflict ‘cause it was in former Yugoslavia that I served. And you know, the human suffering, the uprooting of people by war, the exploitation of these people by others, the breaking up of families because of differences and of war, the desire to go back to where you belong, but the inability to do it because things have changed so much that you wouldn't recognise the place. 

How horrible things people can do to other people. We still have much to learn from ourselves, again, as humans, from history, of what has happened in the past. And the fact that we're not learning fast enough, I think. And that goes for me, I'm really trying to make sure that what I do has some real impact on really affects positive, hopefully positively somebody's life and, and work and being.

Melissa Fleming 19:21

So it sounds like what you're saying is that the issue is so big that it probably can never be eradicated. But there are things that we can do or can the scourge of trafficking ever be stopped?

Ilias Chatzis 19:38

It’s very sad because I…

Melissa Fleming 19:41

I know we're all very idealistic at the UN but can the scourge of trafficking ever be stopped?

Ilias Chatzis 19:47

You know, in the past, we're able to eradicate childhood slavery, alright? It has been eradicated like slavery in its traditional form, I think you call each other's chattel slavery, you know, slavery in its traditional form. We outlawed it, then countries took measures to prevent the slave trade in its traditional form, it ended. This type of slavery was also embedded with the economic development model of the countries that had it even until the end. So it is possible to do it but we'd have to change a lot of things. 

And you know, this whole debate about where we go as us as a race, you know, the environment this feeds, I mean, I know it would sound a bit bizarre and probably irrelevant, but it feeds a lot of the debate about how do we address crime. Because if you address all this, the wrong things that we do, as as a race, then you address crime as well. You know, if you address the quest for profit at the expense of anything else, that's at the heart of trafficking. That’s why they do it, for profit. Take out the ability to use people as slaves to make profit, then you take away a lot of these aspects.

Melissa Fleming 21:06

I wonder if you had the chance to sit face to face with a trafficker maybe you have even had that chance. What would you say to this person?

Ilias Chatzis 21:19

I would be lost for words to tell you the truth, I think. I don't know. I don't know. I don't know. I mean, if you can hear these people in their defense when they go to courts, you know, there you understand what they will tell you in any question you ask them, that the victims, you know, they wanted it, you know, it's an agreement they had. They signed a contract to do it like this. It's even better than what they had back in the home countries. It was consensual. It just got out of hand. That's what they will tell you so I don't know what I could tell them to help, change their mind. I don't think anything will help them. 

One thing that can be an effective way in addressing the situation is to put a victim face to face with a trafficker. Not in a court setting but in a different. Again, I don't think these people are, they just don't care. Honestly, speaking, just maybe in a comfortable moment where they will have to do this. But you know, I just don't think they care. For them, people are just profit. And the funny thing is that many of them, you know, they are real people, eh, they have families some of them, you know, they would have kids and everything. They would have friends around them. 

They may even be, and we have to accept, that they may be within the police. They may have used their profession to do this, these things. As I said, we have to improve and that's why I go back to my original point about history. You know, I think people do not read history enough. We keep making the same mistakes over and over and over again, in different shape and form but if you look deep in, you know, we still have wars, we still want to expand, we still want to subjugate others, we still do everything for profit. 

I mean, sometimes you think that between I don't know, the last 500-600 years, the only thing has changed is technology. If you take away technology, we would still be in the Middle Ages. I mean, you think I mean, everything that we've seen people do, we do not learn, we don't seem to be learning. That's why I think, you know, in a way, maybe that's why in an idealistic manner also made me do this job because I get to work on principles, and I get to work on ideas and I get to work to keep the moral high ground, you call it? Yes, the moral high ground of this and you don't get to do that in many jobs. Any other job that you can do it, that’s... because you asked me about my motivation, I think that was one of the motivations not that you’re perfect yourself but, you know. 

Melissa Fleming 24:04

This is what keeps you going.

Ilias Chatzis 24:06

I think that's what keeps me going, yes. Yes. 

Melissa Fleming 24:10

I don't think at any point of your career, you had a job that was in a pleasant kind of context where you were just dealing with kind of banal things. I mean, you spent seven years in Bosnia in the late 90s and early 2000s, I believe. What struck you most about that time and what were you working on then?

Ilias Chatzis 24:35

It was just after the war had ended and, for me, it was….these years really shaped me, both personally and professionally, you know, the effects of the war, the human tragedy, human misery in some aspects, you know, what drove these people to do what they did? And at the end of the day, what was the result? You know, was it really worthwhile? All this suffering. You know, the refugees trying to go back home and not being able to or when they were able to they were in a foreign territory with people that they have not been the neighbours because other people have moved in their houses. So it was, it was really, I think, for me, it was a reality check about what really war means. It was difficult, it was also a war that was very close to my home country so I kind of and it was also Europe. Nothing like this, anyone thought would happen, you know, after the end of the Second World War, the implications, it had. All of these things that really made me take this job.

Melissa Fleming 25:42

It was also a place where you saw the worst of humanity, or at least the effects of it. Again, you were confronted or before what you were doing now with people who seem to have no conscience, and we're just doing the most evil things to even their neighbours. I mean, can you think of an example of maybe someone you met, that just has not left you?

Ilias Chatzis 26:13 

It's very interesting, because I have this, this memory of… Let me just say that what was also very interesting in a number of ways was that, you know, you had these different ethnic groups and before the war, they were all friends, part of the same society, school friends, things like that. So you had all these people that basically formed themselves on one side of something that they didn't realise they were many sides. 

And I remember this and also how it has affected their lives and how their life changed from one day to the other. I remember this family, it was in Sarajevo, they were Bosniacs, they moved from the south of the country, which was a Serb controlled area. So they have been, you know, evicted from the house basically driven out. And they found, and this was like, a middle upper-class family, you know, they had civil engineers, both of them, at the time they had been sent from Yugoslavia to Libya, they had served for many years serving in oil companies there. So they had really a very good life.

From one day to the other, they were refugees in a town that was under siege, cramped in a one-bedroom apartment and when I met them, they were still like that, but you could see that, you know, it was a different life that they had set for them. How the war had changed everything for them. You know, the person that took me there was a colleague of mine, that was... he was a Serb. He was a very good friend with the son of the family and they stayed friends throughout the war. 

They say, you know, we exchanged you know, we found ways of communicating so one day we were in Sarajevo, we couldn't find a place to stay, because the hotels were very expensive. They were not enough hotels we couldn't find was late at night. So we're looking around. And he told me, let me call a friend of mine and we're going to crash at his house, at his apartment, sorry. And then we called up his friend, they were there they treated really, you know, they made dinner for us. You know, talked to [the] family and I said, Look, these two kids basically, were on the other side of the war, during the war, they managed to keep contact. And there were still very comfortable with each other, staying overnight and sleeping on each other's house and talking and, you know, and look, also these people's life, how much they have changed. 

And this story repeats itself if you look at different groups. I mean, it repeats itself. As I said, I think he has professionally and personally shaped me and I think that's when I decided I wanted to do that. Because until then I was thinking of going back home, picking up my law practice. That's when I think I decided after a while I want to do this and I want to continue working in this type of organisations, try to help out as I can. I had also developed a specialty, you know, war crimes, organised crime, you know, how do you investigate? How do you prosecute? My criminal background helped me a lot. My international exposure was an asset. So it was I think that's when I decided, you know, I just want to and honestly, I haven't been back home besides for holidays, ever since. 25 years later.

Melissa Fleming 29:20

How gratifying is it for you when you see a war criminal, a human trafficker, imprisoned and serving a sentence and convicted?

Ilias Chatzis 29:32

I just feel like... I mean, even in movies, I get passionate about it but really I do have... I think this is what, again, drives me, you know, the need for justice. I just don't understand how these people can walk free and what upsets me is when they walk free. This is what angers me tremendously. I think there are some crimes that people should really serve significant time for what they have done.

Melissa Fleming 30:09

What do you tell your kids about what your job is?

Ilias Chatzis 30:12

Well, that's a difficult one because they ask me actually, the older one asks me. ‘Dad, what do you do for a living?’ And I tried to simplify it and I said ‘Look, I'm trying to help people.’ I know it sounds very simplistic, but [for] an eight-year-old, I couldn't explain it differently. I said, ‘You know, I studied law and I'm trying to help people.’ He said, ‘You only work here?’ ‘No, we work in other parts of the world’ because he sees me in trouble sometimes, you know. ‘I can tell my friends, what do you do?’ I don't know if it's accurate or not but I definitely try to do it.

Melissa Fleming 30:47

And I guess you must come home at night and your wife is there, and you must need to kind of unburden some of the stories and the... but is there? I mean, do you tell her about it, do you share with her what kinds of things you've experienced?

Ilias Chatzis 31:05

A lot, yes. I mean, she's a great advisor and a great support for a number of things. And a lot of my frustrations also. She always tells me ‘Look, keep a cool head and try to do what you can do in this. Don't get too emotional, really try to do your best to do that.’ She's from the private sector so she comes from another world and this helps me because it gives me also a reality check on different things. For me, it is a great support and a great sort of...I test on her things. ‘Should I say this, should I say that, do you think this is, how would it sound, for example, in the private sector if we do that? How does a company think about these things?’ So she's, you know, it’s a great help. 

Melissa Fleming 31:47

That's great. I wonder what you do to relax and in your downtime?

Ilias Chatzis 31:53

There's not much left because of the kids these days. You know, they only just started school two days ago, so we have our hands full, but I'm trying to do some sports, exercise a little bit, when I have the chance. And unfortunately, I don't read as much as I used to. I used to read a lot.

Melissa Fleming 31:10

History books?

Ilias Chatzis 31:12

History, oh, that’s my… if you come home and you will see the library, are you really? What are you reading? This is what I regret, I don't read enough and that's what I want because I read a lot about my work so I guess it becomes a little bit saturated and after a while, your mind needs to do different things. I love movies, also. I'm a filmgoer.

Melissa Fleming 32:38

Especially the ones where the bad guy gets convicted.

Ilias Chatzis 32:41

Yes, that’s the one. Yes, these one are the… Sometimes, you know, my wife says you know, ‘What another action movie?’ Come on, let’s see something. No, that’s it. 

Melissa Fleming 32:54

Ilias, thank you so much for joining me on awake at night. 

Ilias Chatzis 32:57

Thanks for having me. It was a pleasure.
Melissa Fleming 33:07

Thank you for listening to Awake At Night. We'll be back soon with more incredible and inspiring stories from people working to do some good in this world at a time of global crisis. To find out more about the series and the extraordinary people featured, do visit un.org/awake-at-night. On Twitter, we're @UN and I'm @MelissaFleming, Ilias is at @ilias_chatzis

Subscribe to Awake At Night wherever you get your podcasts and please take the time to review us It does make a difference. 

Thanks to my producers Bethany Bell, and the team at Chalk & Blade: Laura Sheeter, Cheri Percy, and Fatuma Khaireh, and to my colleagues at the UN: Roberta Politi, Darrin Farrant, Tulin Battikhi, and the team at the UN studio in Vienna. 

The original music for this podcast was written and performed by Nadine Shah and produced by Ben Hillier. The sound design and additional music was by Pascal Wyse.