Jul 2014 – Nov 2015
Cyprus is a destination country for victims of trafficking mainly for sexual and labor exploitation. Victims have been identified from Cyprus, Bangladesh, Bulgaria, Cameroon, The Dominican Republic, India, Nigeria, Romania, Russia, Ukraine, Turkey, and so on.
The Republic of Cyprus fluctuates from Tier 2 Watch list to Tier 2 according to the U.S. State Department's ranking in its Trafficking in Persons [TIP] report. The Republic of Cyprus is the only EU country that is on the Tier 2 Watch List. It has had an anti-trafficking law since 2007, which was re-enacted in 2014. Meanwhile, the area administered by the Turkish Cypriots in the north, which has declared itself the "Turkish Cypriot Republic of Northern Cyprus ["TRNC"] is an unrecognized, breakaway state that is recognized only by Turkey, and would be classified "Tier 3" if it were ranked. It has no anti-trafficking "legislation," and is a zone for impunity for trafficking. Women in nightclubs come from Central Asia, Eastern Europe, and Africa, and the nightclubs pay "taxes" to the Turkish Cypriot "government." Although prostitution is illegal, the women who work in the clubs are taken to bi-weekly health checks at the "State Hospital." It is not an exaggeration to say that there are years of work in order to adequately address the egregious violations that are taking place in the north.