A total of 44 trafficking victims have been identified so far this year, around the same as last year when 46 people were identified.
“Two main forms of trafficking in Cyprus are sexual exploitation, where most victims are women, and labour exploitation, where most victims are men,” head of the Anti-trafficking task force Rita Superman said this week.
Trafficking takes place with the aim to commit other criminal activities, she said, referring to scam marriages which took place in 2016 mostly in Nicosia and Aradippou with the aim of the sexual exploitation mainly of women from Romania and Bulgaria.
There seem to be gangs operating in the south and north, but there is no clear picture of what happens in the north.
“We have noticed in recent years that people, mostly of African origin, coming from the occupied areas are from countries such as Somalia, Cameroon and to a lesser extent Nigeria,” Superman added, explaining that the investigation of such cases is particularly difficult as there is no cooperation with the north or the African countries from where the trafficked people originate.
Some of them say they are minors or asylum seekers, and Superman explained that a lot of time is required to conduct interviews to discover the facts. In many cases, people have health problems and special treatment as well as a cooperation with other services is needed.