On 5 May 2022, the Anti-Trafficking Division of the Council of Europe organised a round-table meeting to discuss progress made by Cyprus in the implementation of the third report of the Group of Experts on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings (GRETA), published in June 2020, and the related Committee of the Parties’ recommendation to the Cypriot authorities.
The meeting was opened by Dr Costas Constantinou, National Co-ordinator against human trafficking and Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of the Interior, who highlighted the efforts made by the Cypriot authorities and the challenges faced due to the high number of migrants and asylum seekers arriving in the country.
Some 30 representatives of relevant ministries, public agencies and civil society organisations discussed progress made and remaining challenges as regards trafficking victims’ access to justice and effective remedies, which is the focus of the third evaluation round of the Convention. Victims’ access to legal assistance, free legal aid and compensation, as well as the criminal justice response to trafficking, were at the centre of the discussions.
The round-table meeting was also an occasion to discuss progress made on the implementation of previous GRETA recommendations. Particular attention was paid to the identification of victims of trafficking, the provision of assistance, the granting of a recovery and reflection period, as well as measures to discourage demand and to combat trafficking for labour exploitation.
Cyprus is expected to report to the Committee of the Parties to the Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings on measures taken to comply with the recommendations by 12 June 2022.