Support for human trafficking victims

2 mins read

Cyprus Police and the Social Welfare Services have signed a Memorandum of Cooperation to handle and protect human trafficking victims in a strong message of zero tolerance to this crime.

The Memorandum was signed by Justice Minister Stephie Dracos and Deputy Minister of Social Welfare Anastasia Anthousi.

It promotes the cooperation of the two services by strengthening the framework for protecting and supporting victims, the vast majority of whom are women.

The Memorandum defines the responsibilities and obligations of the two services on the referral and providing information to victims of trafficking.

It also describes the actions to be taken to identify victims, specialised evaluation, and strengthens conditions of security and trust, both during the process of identification and the trial of a trafficking case.

There are also special provisions for treating victims of trafficking who are children.

Dracos said close cooperation between the Police and the state Social Welfare Services has led to four convictions in the last six months due to the strict anti-trafficking legislation.

Anthousi said that last year, the Social Welfare Services assisted in 84 cases through individualised assistance and support for the victims.

Her deputy ministry aims to address this issue to develop policies and actions to combat trafficking and exploitation.

She announced plans for a project aimed at the social reintegration and rehabilitation of victims of trafficking in the community.

The project aims to provide assistance, support and appropriate incentives to victims living in the state shelter for their rehabilitation in the community.