Office of Combating Trafficking in Human Beings
The Office of Combating Trafficking in Human Beings of the Police Headquarters was established in 2004, and since March 2015 the Office has been operating on an operational basis. The role, competences and responsibilities of the Office include a wide range of activities to prevent and combat the phenomenon, as well as in the context of the victim-centred approach to the protection, safety and support of victims. The main tasks of the Office are the qualitative investigation of cases of trafficking in human beings in the territory of the Republic of Cyprus, the identification of victims and the coordination of the operational activity of the Police in this field.
Trafficking in Human Beings
Trafficking in human beings is the modern form of slavery. It is a serious crime directly linked to the brutal violation of human rights and is considered to be one of the forms of organised crime. Trafficking in human beings means the recruitment, transfer of persons within or outside national borders for the purpose of their exploitation. The forms of trafficking vary, depending on the ultimate purpose of traffickers and the type of exploitation suffered by the victims. Sexual as well as labour exploitation (mainly in the agricultural and livestock sector) are the two most common forms of trafficking appeared in Cyprus. Nevertheless, trafficking in persons is constantly evolving and the forms of trafficking in persons vary.
Other forms of trafficking in human beings that are equally but also less widespread today in Cyprus are trafficking for the purpose of
• committing of forced marriages
• of adoptions (by means of an illegal act)
• begging or forced itinerant sale
• the exploitation of vital organs, tissues and cells
• committing other criminal acts (minor offences, theft, drug trafficking, etc.)
Legislative/Administrative framework Trafficking in human beingds in Cyprus is covered by the Prevention and Combating of Trafficking and Exploitation of Persons and the Protection of Victims Law 60(I) of 2014. This Law is in line with the European Acquis and incorporates all European Directives as well as the relevant United Nations Protocol and the European Convention on Trafficking in Persons. Under the Legislative Framework, the National Coordinator for Trafficking in Human Beings and the National Referral Mechanism have been established.