Cyprus Mail

MPs find gaps in state-run shelter for trafficking victims

Although improvements have been made, there are still gaps and shortcomings in state-run shelter for victims of human trafficking, the House human right committee was told on Monday.

Psychological support and rehabilitation of the victims, along with staffing shortages, were the main issues discussed during the meeting, said Disy MP Mariella Aristidou.

“Having experienced such excruciating abuse, the victims in the shelter need it to be perfect,” she said.

“Therefore, psychological aid, training and a variety of activities should be available,” she said.

There are currently 11 victims from different nationalities housed at the shelter, which aims to reintegrate them into society, said Akel MP Irene Charalambidou.

“Reintegration should be the shelter’s main objective,” she said.

“Many of the people at the shelter are victims of sexual exploitation and have been under the illegal control of criminal organisations.

“When you try to help victims of organised crime, it’s important to engage with them step-by-step. It’s a long and complex process and, above all, they need to feel safe.”

Charalambidou also asked the competent authorities to bring to justice more human traffickers than has been the case in recent years.

She said she raised the issue previously but she is still awaiting official information from state authorities on the evidence they collected, how many offenders were prosecuted and how many were convicted.

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