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US Ambassador welcomes actions by Cyprus government against trafficking in persons
2005-06-06 14:21:12

Nicosia, Jun 6 -- US Ambassador in Nicosia Michael Klosson has welcomed actions taken by the Cyprus government and the progress achieved during the past year in the battle against trafficking in persons.

Speaking after the release of the State Department's Trafficking in Persons Report, Klosson said he looked forward ''to continued cooperation between the US and Cyprus on this problem that affects us all.''

''The crime of human trafficking deprives people of their most basic human rights and freedoms, and it fuels organized crime it is a problem that cannot be ignored by the world community. To that end we are proud to partner with Cyprus in steps to prevent trafficking, to protect its victims and to prosecute its perpetrators,'' he said according to a press release issued by the US Embassy.

The press release also said that ''as a clear sign of progress in its efforts to combat trafficking, Cyprus has been removed from the State Department's ''watch list'' this year and is currently listed as "a Tier 2 country."

The State Department report said Cyprus is a destination country for women trafficked from Eastern and Central Europe for the purpose of sexual exploitation and that the Cyprus government "does not fully comply with the minimum standards of the elimination of trafficking, however it is making significant efforts to do so."

The report noted that Cyprus made progress in all fields (prevention, prosecution and protection) and especially in terms of prosecution. As noted in the report police made 194 arrests.

It also said that the evaluation of each country is not based on the number of the victims at this country but on its government's efforts to combat trafficking in the fields of prevention, prosecution and protection.

The State Department admits that trafficking is a global problem, due mainly to the weakness of the international community to combat poverty to countries from were victims come.

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