Cyprus’s frozen conflict  providing fertile ground for human traffickers.

Written by on April 17, 2022

Cyprus’s frozen conflict is providing fertile ground for human traffickers with cases at alarming levels in the EU member state, and the breakaway north considered as bad as Afghanistan.

According to reports, last year the US State Department downgraded Cyprus in its annual Trafficking in Persons Report from Tier 1, the highest ranking, to Tier 2, citing problems including protracted court proceedings and a lack of convictions.

While the report does not formally rank the breakaway Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, only recognised by Ankara, it says the territory would be in Tier 3 with the worst offenders including Afghanistan and North Korea if it did.

Cyprus has been split since 1974, after Turkey invaded in response to a Greek-sponsored coup.

And the lack of progress in resolving the conflict shifts attention and resources away from issues like human trafficking, said Nasia Hadjigeorgiou, assistant professor in transitional justice and human rights from the University of Central Lancashire Cyprus.

Anthony Samuel

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