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06NICOSIA293 2006-03-01 14:44:00 UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Embassy Nicosia
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DE RUEHNC #0293/01 0601444
O 011444Z MAR 06
					UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 06 NICOSIA 000293 




E.O. 12958: N/A

REF: STATE 03836

1. This message is sensitive but unclassified--not/not for
Internet distribution.

2. (SBU) Embassy Nicosia hereby submits information for the
March 2004-March 2005 Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Report.
Embassy point of contact is Bridget Alway, Political Section,
Tel: (357) 22-39-3545, Fax (357) 22-39-3467. Approximately
80 hours (FSO-03) and 55 hours (FSN) were spent in preparing
this material.

3. (SBU) Overview Questions:


A. (Note: the United States does not recognize the
"government" of the so-called "Turkish Republic of Northern
Cyprus (TRNC)," nor does any country other than Turkey.) The
area administered by Turkish Cypriots is a destination for
women who are trafficked to work in the sex industry.
Authorities believe it is a "transit" point for people
wishing to illegally enter the European Union (EU), and NGOs
believe it is a "transit" point for persons who may be
trafficked in the construction industry. Women trafficked
for purposes of commercial sex do not change location once
they have signed a contract with a particular nightclub in
the north. No official estimates on the number of victims
exist. The "Ministry of Interior" issued 1,031 "artiste"
visas to women coming to Cyprus to work in 46 nightclubs and
9 pubs. In January, 2006, 378 foreign women were working in
the area administered by Turkish Cypriots. Moreover, in 2005
the immigration police repatriated 150 women who wished to
curtail their nightclub contracts. Because the "TRNC" has no
commercial air links with any country other than Turkey, all
women entering the area administered by Turkish Cypriots to
work in a nightclub or pub arrive via Turkey. Authorities
maintain that most of these women have been working in
nightclubs in Turkey prior to coming to Cyprus. NGOs back
this up and have stated that historically women working in
the sex industry have been "routed" through Istanbul on their
way to Cyprus or other countries in the region. Authorities
have also indicated that a significant number of Turkish
women (who enter either on three-month tourist visas or on
student visas) are known to be working as prostitutes out of
apartments in the port cities of Kyrenia and Famagusta. The
"attorney general" believes these women may outnumber the
third-country nationals coming to work on "artiste" visas.
There were no NGOs that provided services to victims. The
immigration police said that during the reporting period
women working in nightclubs and pubs came from: Moldova
(84%), Ukraine (10%), Kyrgyzstan (1%), Russia (1%), and
Belarus (1%). There were also a handful from Uzbekistan,
Tajikistan, the Philippines, Kenya, Romania, and Nigeria.

B. See also 3, A. There appear to have been no changes in
the extent/direction of the trafficking. The "attorney
general" said that he has become aware of a number of Turkish
women working as prostitutes out of private apartments after
entering the island from Turkey on tourist or student visas.
There is political will to address trafficking, particularly
in the area of protection, as evidenced by the "Ministry of
Health's" efforts to establish a "157" hotline similar to the
one operating in Turkey (see also 6, A). Many officials,
however, still confuse trafficking with human smuggling.
There is currently no anti-trafficking legislation. Women
working in nightclubs and bars are required by the
"Nightclubs and Similar Places of Entertainment Law" (also
known as the "Bar Girls Law") of 2000 to live onsite at their
nightclubs and to surrender their passports to the
immigration police. Nightclub owners are not allowed to hold

NICOSIA 00000293 002 OF 006

the passports. A nightclub may employ up to 12 women and a
pub may employ up to three. Women receive six-month visas,
which they may renew immediately. They are, however,
required to leave at the end of the visa and re-apply for an
entry permit. Women typically serve drinks, perform nude
dancing or engage in prostitution. Victims may be subject to
violence, threats, excessive working hours and inadequate pay
and may be forced to perform sexual acts for
clients/employers. There were reports of men who had been
trafficked to work in the construction industry.

C. Turkish Cypriot authorities are not a party to any
international agreements due to the unrecognized status of
the "TRNC." Likewise, no branches of any international
institutions are located in the area administered by Turkish
Cypriots. The authorities have signed no cooperative
agreements with source countries, and would almost certainly
be unable to do so due to recognition issues. Turkish
Cypriot officials have not participated in any EU or
international conferences or training's on TIP, but they did
attend seminars organized by the U.S. and Swedish embassies
with international participants. Lack of funding is a
problem in promoting a public awareness campaign, training
police officers and providing aid to victims. Corruption in
the police is also a problem. Ten immigration police
officers were arrested in April on suspicion of smuggling
people of Arab origin across the Green Line, and the
"attorney general's" office confirms that an investigation is
still ongoing. Press coverage of the arrests suggested that
high-ranking police could be involved. In May, two
immigration police officers at Ercan airport were questioned
on suspicion of corruption after the exposure of a false visa
ring, but no arrests were made. There are widespread rumors
that government officials hire prostitutes and benefit
financially from the operation of nightclubs.

D. Statistics were available from the Turkish Cypriot
authorities, but they were disorganized and confusing. The
"Ministry of Interior" tracks the number of nightclub visas
issued, and immigration police track entries/exits and
repatriations to and from the "TRNC." While these two
offices share statistics, their numbers did not always agree.
The "Ministry of Health" keeps statistics on its required
weekly health checks for nightclub workers, and the police
keep statistics on arrests related to prostitution. There
was no public disclosure of these statistics during the
reporting period.



A. Turkish Cypriot authorities acknowledge that trafficking
is a problem. There is, however, much confusion of the issue
with human smuggling.

B. The "ministries" of Health, Interior and Labor as well as
the police were all involved in efforts to regulate the
activities of nightclubs and prevent the abuse of women
working in these clubs. (Note: the police fall under the
"Ministry of Foreign Affairs" but they are ultimately under
the operational command of the Turkish military per
transitional article ten of the "TRNC constitution," which
cedes responsibility for public security and defense
"temporarily" to Turkey.)

C. There were no "government-run" anti-TIP public
information campaigns during the reporting period.

D. The "government" did not support other programs to
prevent trafficking.

NICOSIA 00000293 003 OF 006

F. There is no relationship between "government officials"
and civil society on trafficking. During the reporting
period, there were two local NGOs actively concerned with

G. Turkish Cypriot authorities make an effort to monitor
their "borders," which include both ports of entry and the
"Green Line" separating the area administered by Turkish
Cypriots from the government-controlled south. (Note: the
"Green Line" is patrolled by the UN as part of the UNFICYP
mission.) Turkish Cypriot authorities complain of inadequate
resources in this area. There is substantial evidence that
the area administered by Turkish Cypriots is a transit point
for people, typically from the Middle East and South Asia,
seeking to enter the EU through the Republic of Cyprus.
There are reports that Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots
cooperate in alien smuggling schemes. When caught by
officials in the north, these smugglers are typically charged
with entering outside of a legal port of entry. The
immigration police reported that 40% received prison
sentences, 25% were fined and the rest were still awaiting
trial. The smuggled aliens were deported.

H. The "government" agencies listed in 4,B above were all
members of the "Nightclub Commission," an "interagency" group
with local "government" representation that meets once a
month to discuss any issues related to nightclubs and their
employees. The Commission makes recommendations to the
"Ministry of Interior" on the granting of club licenses,
recommends changes in employee quotas and intervenes in any
problems arising at a club. Neither the Commission nor the
"Ministry of Interior" can cancel nightclub operating
licenses, however. The "Ministry" tried to do this in 2005
when nightclubs refused to relocate after zoning measures
were implemented as part of the "Nightclubs and Similar
Places of Entertainment Law." A local court ordered the
"Ministry" to reinstate the licenses in question because they
had already been purchased. The "Attorney General"
subsequently advised the "Ministry" that it would face
numerous legal hurdles in trying to revoke nightclub
operating licenses. The Nightclub Commission is the only
institutionalized forum for discussing TIP, but it did not
deal with any specific TIP cases in the reporting period.
There is no public disclosure of assessments of
anti-trafficking efforts. The head of the nightclub
commission is the "Undersecretary of the Ministry of
Interior." There is no public corruption task force. There
is an Ombudsman's office, but the position has been vacant
for the last three years.

J. The "government" does not have a "national" plan of
action to address trafficking in persons.




A. No new legislation has been enacted since the last TIP
report. The area administered by Turkish Cypriots does not
have a law that specifically prohibits trafficking in
persons. The law does, however, prohibit forced abduction
and forced labor. In 2005, all potential trafficking cases
were tried on the grounds of living off the earnings of
prostitution. The "attorney general" stated that there were
no complaints that would allow the authorities to press
charges of forced labor. However one NGO claimed that there
were cases of workers being trafficked in the construction

B. See 5, A. Persons convicted of living off the earnings

NICOSIA 00000293 004 OF 006

of prostitution may receive two years in prison and/or a fine
of one million old Turkish Lira--a mere 85 U.S. cents--at the
discretion of the judge. Persons convicted of forced
abduction/labor are punished by imprisonment and/or fine at
the discretion of a judge. The law holds that an employer
can spend a year in prison or pay a fine of $300 if he/she
allows a nightclub employee to miss a weekly health check
required by the "Ministry of Health."

C. The basic law provides no minimum sentence for
individuals convicted of rape, including spousal rape; the
maximum sentence is life imprisonment.

D. Engaging in prostitution and living on the earnings of
prostitution are both illegal, and arrests were made for both
during the reporting period. Officials stated, however, that
it is difficult to close down cabarets because of a lack of
evidence of prostitution.

E. The "government" prosecuted no cases on the grounds of
trafficking during the reporting period, due to a lack of
appropriate legislation. Police arrested 25 people in 25
cases, however, on grounds of prostitution and living off the
earnings of prostitution. Of those, 16 cases are pending
trial and nine defendants were convicted. Of the nine
people, there were six men and three women (of Moldavian
British and Turkish nationality). None of them were
nightclub owners. All paid penalties ranging from $.85-1.70
(1-2 million old Turkish Lira).

F. Turkish Cypriot authorities do not know precisely who is
behind the trafficking since the victims are coming via
Turkey. They do not know what happens to the women between
the time they leave their countries and arrive in the area
administered by Turkish Cypriots. They have indicated,
however, that the men accompanying women entering on
"artiste" visas at ports of entry are often Turkish. They
also believe that organized crime is behind the ownership and
management of some of the nightclubs in the area administered
by Turkish Cypriots. The press reported an independent
researcher's claims (after reportedly interviewing "artistes"
at cabarets) that the women came to Cyprus via agencies
seeking models, babysitters or caretakers for the elderly.

G. The "government" actively investigated allegations of
trafficking. In November the NGO La Strada contacted Embassy
Nicosia regarding a Moldavian woman who had allegedly told
her mother in Moldova that she was being held at a nightclub
in the area administered by Turkish Cypriots and wanted to
leave. The Embassy contacted the Turkish Cypriot Police, who
immediately investigated the case and arranged for the
woman's repatriation. The Police reported that the woman
said she missed her child, and that her mother had
exaggerated her situation. The "Ministry of Labor," along
with the immigration police, complete routine work place
inspections at restaurants, hotels, nightclubs, casinos and
construction sites to make sure: 1) workers have valid work
visas; 2) workers have a signed contract with their employer;
3) working conditions are safe and sanitary. The Police take
advantage of bar and nightclub inspections (4 to 5 times per
month) as a time to interview the women and ask them if they
have any problems (police estimated that around 10% of the
women they interviewed did not understand that they would be
working in prostitution when they came to Cyprus). The
Police do not use electronic surveillance, undercover
operations, mitigated punishment or immunity in prosecuting
cases. The law typically prohibits use of these techniques,
although a judge may overrule such provisions.

H. The "government" does not provide specialized training on

NICOSIA 00000293 005 OF 006


I. The "government" cooperates only with Turkey (see also
question 3, C). The Police may contact Interpol via Turkey
as well.

J. The Turkish Cypriot constitution does not allow for
Turkish Cypriots to be extradited, and Turkish Cypriot
authorities have not announced any plans to amend this in the
basic law. The authorities can extradite citizens from other
countries. However they did not receive any requests for
this (see 3, C).

K. See also question 3, C. To prevent corruption, Police
assign officers to nightclub inspections on a random basis
and do not announce these assignments until the last minute.

L. The Police have an internal disciplinary mechanism that
functions in cooperation with the "attorney general's
office." No officials were prosecuted for engaging in
prostitution or trafficking.

M. N/A There is no evidence of a child trafficking problem
in the area administered by Turkish Cypriots.

N. N/A



A. The "Ministry of Health" requires nightclub employees to
report to a hospital for weekly health checks, which aim to
prevent the spread of sexually transmitted diseases. In the
summer of 2005, the "Ministry's" plans to interview women in
their native languages fell through due to a lack of
appropriate staff; however, it did begin disseminating and
collecting (though not evaluating) questionnaires on living
conditions from women working in nightclubs and bars. In
December the "Ministry" reserved the toll free "157" number
with the telephone authority and hired a Russian-speaking
nurse with the intention of beginning personal interviews
with women during their health checks and routing the 157
line's calls to the nurse's cellphone. At the end of the
reporting period, the line was activated but had not yet been
put into service.

In an effort to protect the women working in nightclubs, the
"Nightclubs and Similar Places of Entertainment Law" mandates
that Police keep their passports and return airplane tickets
throughout the duration of their stay to prevent employers
from withholding these documents. (Women pay $4,000 to 5,000
U.S. up front to cover visa and travel expenses.)
Furthermore, the "Ministry of Health" inspects nightclubs to
ensure the women are not subjected to unsanitary working or
living conditions (since they are required by law to live on
the nightclub premises). Apart from the case mentioned
earlier (5, G), all of the "ministries" told us they have had
almost no complaints from women working in nightclubs.
Because of this and the fact that the Police repatriate any
woman who wants to leave, authorities have not felt the need
to offer shelter or counselor assistance. According to the
"Nightclubs and Similar Places of Entertainment Law," women
need only tell the Police they want to leave their employment
and the Police must arrange for their immediate repatriation.
In 2005, the Police repatriated 150 women. Of those, 85
asked to leave because they or a member of their family was
sick; 40 stated they simply wanted to stop working; and the
rest said they either wanted to get married, had family
problems, or wanted to go back to school.

NICOSIA 00000293 006 OF 006

In an attempt to limit the number of nightclubs in urban
areas, authorities have implemented zoning measures. The
"Nightclubs and Similar Places of Entertainment Law" declared
that all nightclubs had to move outside of urban centers.
Despite a December 2005 deadline for all remaining nightclubs
and pubs to move out, however, 6 nightclubs remained in
operation within the city limits of the major Turkish Cypriot
metropolitan centers by the end of the reporting period. In
response, the "Ministry of Interior" stopped renewing
"artiste" visas for the employees working in these
establishments, but did not attempt to close them down (see
also 4, H).

B. The "government" did not provide funding or other forms
of support to foreign or domestic NGOS for services to
victims. Two NGOs expressed interest in TIP during the
reporting period, but they did not provide services to

C. There is no such referral process.

D. For the most part, victims' rights are protected.
Victims may be prosecuted for violating laws governing
immigration and prostitution.

E. There is no legislation specifically against trafficking.
Authorities said there were no complaints made during the
reporting period that would allow them to pursue traffickers
on charges of forced labor, either in criminal or civil
courts. The Police indicated that women gave statements in
investigations of crimes related to prostitution, but could
not specify how many. A woman is not permitted to seek
alternative employment if acting as a material witness in a
court case. There is no victim restitution program. Women
are not permitted to stay in the area administered by Turkish
Cypriots and pursue other employment if they leave their

F. There is no witness protection program. The "government"
does not run any shelters and argues that currently there is
no need for such a system since the Police arrange immediate
repatriation for women who wish to leave their employment.
There is currently no evidence of the trafficking of children.

G. The "government" does not provide specialized training
for "government" officials in recognizing trafficking and
providing assistance to victims. The "government" has no
embassies or consulates in foreign countries.

H. There were no cases during the reporting period of
Turkish-Cypriots who were victims of trafficking in other

I. N/A.