African women trafficked to Cyprus with fake result exposed to sexual exploitation

People are being trafficked into the TRNC with forged documents and diplomas under the guise of education, and later exploited, with female students from African exposed to sexual exploitation in particular.

This was disclosed in a seminar held within the scope of the fight against human trafficking, a meeting that was also attended by the Minister of Education Olgun Amcaoğlu.

Coordinator of the Anti-Human Trafficking Program, lawyers and some associations representative also attended the seminar.

Information, goals and practical difficulties of combating human trafficking were discussed during the meeting and views exchanged.

Fezile Osum, the Coordinator of the Anti-Trafficking Program, stated that people who come to the country under the guise of education, entered the country with forged documents and diplomas, and were later exploited, adding that they received many reports in this direction.

Underlining that there is a multifaceted grievance against human trafficking, Osum said that the Ministry of Education has an important responsibility in all of this.

Osum said, 

The Ministry of Education is also an important stakeholder in this. All ministries need to take responsibility. The education ministry should have a preventive mission.
Students must be informed when they come to the island, she said.
The Ministry of Education should play a preventive role in the informal employment of students. An informal economy is also being created here. This is also bad for everyone.
African female students in particular are exposed to sexual exploitation. Men are employed in construction.

Sevilay Yıldırımer Candanal from the Union of Bar Associations said in the past year, they received 271 reports.

He stated that there was a trust in the Report Line over time, and those who were exposed to exploitation largely applied. He also emphasized that they received reports in different areas from labor exploitation to sexual exploitation.

Candanal noted that universities give pre-authorization to students with intermediary, and that there are people who enter the island as if they are going to do a master's degree with fake high school and university diplomas, and that these intermediary companies play an important role at this point.  

He called on the Ministry of Education to carry out inspections in cooperation with the police.

Speaking at the meeting, Education Minister Olgun Amcaoğlu said, 

It is not possible for us to stay out of such a cooperation. As the Ministry of Education, we are ready to cooperate. We do not have the luxury to pretend that nothing is there. We will do whatever is necessary, he said.

Amcaoğlu said the government have been in a retrospective amnesty study for 5 years in order to identify the active students in the country and to understand who is actually a student. 

Students can work part-time. But apart from that, we are trying to identify those who come with a student ID and receive immigration and deal with other things. 

He said emphasized that there was a good cooperation with the police regarding those who were not students but tried to enter the island by showing them as students. 

I have provided police data and connections. Whenever they want, they can access information about any student they want. Not personal information. Where he studied, what job he did. I know 17 people who came and were sent back with student IDs in one day.
Human trafficking is a situation that upset us. If someone comes along and sees education as a commercial theme, we won't allow it. Those who want to gain commercial gain should do something else. We will not allow students to be workers or sex workers. Nobody has the right to do this.

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