Certain number of women coming to the TRNC are engaged in prostitution in Famagusta apartment - Human Trafficking Report

A Human Trafficking Report prepared for 180 countries showed that northern Cyprus  is a place where human trafficking is still unpunished.

The report reveals the embarrassing situation in the northern part of Cyprus, especially in relation to night clubs.

According to the report published by Turkish Cypriot daily, Yeniduzen, Turkish Cypriot authorities had made no effort to prevent sex trafficking and forced labor. ”

Although prostitution is illegal, women working in nightclubs undergo a health check for sexually transmitted diseases weekly, Yeniduzen reported.

It added that;

Nightclubs are an important source of tax revenue for the Turkish Cypriot administration. Three-month tourist or student visa with a certain number of women coming to the TRNC, Lefkosa, Kyrenia are engaged in prostitution in Famagusta apartment.

The report states that Northern Cyprus according to the 2019 reports in in terms of human trafficking is in the same category with countries Korea, Saudi Arabia, Burundi, Congo, Gambia, Iran and South Sudan. 

The Human Trafficking Report, is prepared by the United States Department of State for up to 180 countries every year.

Other striking information in the report emphasized that the northern Cyprus does not meet the minimum standards in the fight against human trafficking, does not make an important effort to bring about it, and that the authorities in the country are partners in the crime of human trafficking:
  • Northern Cyprus is a place where human trafficking is still unpunished
  • Turkish Cypriot authorities make no effort to prevent sex trafficking and forced labor
  • Women from Central Asia, Eastern Europe and Africa are forced into prostitution in nightclubs licensed and organized by the Turkish Cypriot administration
  • The Nightclubs and Similar Places of Entertainment Act permits only dance in nightclubs, while the TRNC Criminal Code prohibits prostitution, forcing prostitution and forced labor. However, these laws rarely apply, and nightclub owners, guards and customers are rarely prosecuted.
  • Although prostitution is illegal, women working in nightclubs undergo a health check for sexually transmitted diseases on a weekly basis. This is the acceptance and silent confirmation of the existence of the prostitution sector.
  • Managers complicate trafficking, police confiscate passports of women working in nightclubs when they enter the country
  • Some MPs are regular customers of nightclubs
  • Nightclub owners employ female college students to bypass the limit on the number of employees and to avoid tax and supervision
  • Victims state that they go to health and police checks with nightclub guards, so that they are not allowed to share the details of their abuse with anyone
  • The law governing nightclubs prohibits women from staying at work, but most women stay in dormitories adjacent to nightclubs.
  • The Nightclubs Commission, consisting of police and government officials, supervises five nightclubs approximately every two weeks, but these inspections mostly focus on the cleanliness of kitchens. Interviews with women during these inspections take place in front of nightclub guards or employees, preventing potential victims of trafficking from talking freely.
  • Night clubs are an important source of tax revenue for the Turkish Cypriot administration. It is estimated that night club owners pay at least 20-30 million TL tax per year. This is a deterrent in the fight against trafficking in human beings and constitutes a conflict of interest for political will
  • During the reporting period, “TRNC” authorities issued a 6-month work permit to 1,605 omat konsomatris ”and“ barmaids çalışan (which were 1,084 in 2018) working in nightclubs and 2 pubs in the north
  • Authorities deported 40 nightclub staff women who complained about working conditions and asked for help from authorities in the past year
  • Women who have contracts with a particular nightclub are not allowed to move to another location. 638 women who terminated the contract in the last year were deported without being investigated whether they were victims of smuggling.
  • A certain number of women who come to the TRNC on a three-month tourist or student visa are prostituting in their flats in Nicosia, Kyrenia and Famagusta.
  • Men and women, particularly those from Sub-Saharan African countries, who are registered as university students, are exposed to the risks of sex trafficking and forced labor
  • Men and women are also forced to work in industry, construction, agriculture, housework, restaurants and retail sectors.
  • Turkish Cypriot authorities did not allocate any funds to combat trafficking this year either
  • There is no shelter and social, economic and psychological services for victims of human trafficking and managers do not provide any protection to victims.
  • Authorities do not encourage victims of trafficking to help prosecute smugglers, all foreign victims are deported
  • Victims of labor trafficking are subjected to inhuman living and working conditions by being charged, threatened with deportation, and their movements restricted.
  • In the TRNC, there is no law to punish traffickers who confiscate passports or documents of employees and employ them in captivity without salary
For the full report: https://by.usembassy.gov/wp-content/uploads/sites/57/2019-Trafficking-in-Persons-Report.pdf

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