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Archive for June, 2010

By Jacqueline Agathocleous-  Published in Cyprus Mail – June 3, 2010

THE NUMBER of cabarets and artistes has fallen in Cyprus but sex trafficking is managing to find new outlets through bars and even rural coffee shops dubbed ‘sex cafes’, the House Crime Committee heard yesterday.
The Committee heard that there has been a radical reduction in women arriving on the island as artistes, with 365 women currently registered in this category compared to around 1,200 in recent years. This is mainly due to a change in how the women are processed by the authorities, which has abolished the ‘artiste visa’
Deputies noted that even though efforts were being made by the current government – and some progress has been achieved  – Cyprus was still far from ridding itself of its bad reputation when it comes to human trafficking.
Committee Chairman, AKEL’s Yiannakis Thoma, said it was a fact that the government had taken specific measures over the past months – such as intensifying checks on artistes arriving on the island and increasing raids on cabarets. This, he said, has led to a reduction in the number of cabarets, as well as foreign women arriving on the island for this purpose.
“But at the same time, there has been an increase in the trafficking of women in other areas, such as bars and even cafeterias,” said Thoma. He said these women could be on the island on a temporary visa, or they may have been lured to Cyprus on the false pretence that they would be carrying out a fake marriage.
Authorities had noted an increase in women – Cypriot and European – as well as around 260 third-country nationals  working as “special barmaids”. Even worse, the Committee was told that rural cafeterias were filling up with European women. (more…)

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