98163 2/27/2007 7:15 07NICOSIA165 Embassy Nicosia UNCLASSIFIED 06STATE202745 VZCZCXRO8479 PP RUEHAG RUEHAST RUEHDA RUEHDBU RUEHDF RUEHFL RUEHIK RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHLN RUEHLZ RUEHROV RUEHSR RUEHVK RUEHYG DE RUEHNC #0165/01 0580715 ZNR UUUUU ZZH P 270715Z FEB 07 FM AMEMBASSY NICOSIA TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 7578 INFO RUEHAK/AMEMBASSY ANKARA PRIORITY 4883 RUEHUJA/AMEMBASSY ABUJA PRIORITY 0005 RUEHML/AMEMBASSY MANILA PRIORITY 0062 RUEHBM/AMEMBASSY BUCHAREST PRIORITY 0346 RUEHCH/AMEMBASSY CHISINAU PRIORITY 0099 RUEHKV/AMEMBASSY KYIV PRIORITY 0004 RUEHSK/AMEMBASSY MINSK PRIORITY 0056 RUEHMO/AMEMBASSY MOSCOW PRIORITY 2134 RUEHEK/AMEMBASSY BISHKEK PRIORITY 0043 RUEHSI/AMEMBASSY TBILISI PRIORITY 0031 RUEHNT/AMEMBASSY TASHKENT PRIORITY 0035 RUEHDBU/AMEMBASSY DUSHANBE PRIORITY RUEHNR/AMEMBASSY NAIROBI PRIORITY 0075 RUEHIT/AMCONSUL ISTANBUL PRIORITY 1039 RUEHOS/AMCONSUL LAGOS PRIORITY 0027 RUEHBS/USEU BRUSSELS PRIORITY RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHDC PRIORITY RUEHVEN/USMISSION USOSCE PRIORITY 0084 RUEAWJA/DEPT OF JUSTICE WASHDC PRIORITY RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK PRIORITY 0794 RUEHC/DEPT OF LABOR WASHDC PRIORITY RUEAHLC/HOMELAND SECURITY CENTER WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 06 NICOSIA 000165
FOR G/TIP, G, INL, PRM, IWI AND EUR/PGI; FOR EUR/SE MCLEGG-TRIPP AND EMELLINGER; STATE PLEASE PASS TO USAID
E.O. 12958:N/A TAGS: KCRM, CY, PHUM, KWMN, SMIG, KFRD, ASEC, PREF, ELAB SUBJECT: AREA ADMINISTERED BY TURKISH CYPRIOTS -- SEVENTH ANNUAL TIP REPORT SUBMISSION
REF: 06 STATE 202745
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1. (U) Paras 3-6 are sensitive but unclassified --not/not for Internet distribution.
2. (U) Embassy Nicosia hereby submits information for the April 2006 - March 2007 Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Report. Embassy POC is Terry Steers-Gonzalez, Political Section, Tel: (357) 22-39-3364, Fax: (357) 22-39-3467. Approximately 80 hours (FSO-03) and 55 hours (FSN) were spent in preparing this material.
3. (SBU) Answers in this para are keyed to the questions in reftel, para 27, "Overview."
A. (Note: Since 1974, only the southern part of Cyprus has been under the control of the government of the Republic of Cyprus (ROC). The northern part, administered by Turkish Cypriots, proclaimed itself the "Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC)" in 1983. The United States does not recognize the "TRNC," nor does any country other than Turkey. A substantial number of Turkish troops remain on the island. A buffer zone, or "green line," patrolled by the UN Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP) separates the two parts. End note.)
The area administered by Turkish Cypriots is a destination for women who are trafficked to work in the sex industry. Turkish Cypriot authorities believe the area is also a transit point for people wishing to enter the EU illegally. Women trafficked for purposes of commercial sex do not change location once they have signed a contract with a particular nightclub in the north.
During the reporting period, the Turkish Cypriot "Ministry of Interior" issued 961 "artiste"-category work permits and 15 "barmaid"-category work permits to women coming to Cyprus to work in 41 nightclubs and 9 pubs. As of February 2007, 381 such foreign women were working in the area administered by Turkish Cypriots, and immigration police had repatriated 235 women who wished to curtail their nightclub contracts.
All such foreign women entering the area administered by Turkish Cypriots arrive via Turkey, the only country with direct commercial air links. The authorities maintain that most of these women have worked in nightclubs in Turkey, specifically in Istanbul, prior to coming to Cyprus. The authorities have also indicated that a significant number of Turkish women, who enter the area administered by Turkish Cypriots either on three-month tourist "visas" or on student "visas," work as prostitutes out of apartments in the port cities of Kyrenia and Famagusta. The "attorney general" believes these women may outnumber other third-country nationals coming to work on "artiste"-category work permits.
There were no international or local NGOs that provided services to TIP victims.
Immigration police said that, during the reporting period, women working in nightclubs and pubs came from Moldova, Ukraine, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Georgia and Belarus, as well as smaller numbers from Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, the Philippines, Kenya, Romania, and Nigeria.
B. There appear to have been no changes in the extent/direction of trafficking to/through the area administered by Turkish Cypriots. There is some political will to address trafficking, particularly in the protection of victims, as evidenced by the "157" helpline set up
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by the "Ministry of Health," similar to the one operating in Turkey. However, there is currently no anti-trafficking law, and the authorities still confuse trafficking with smuggling.
Under the "Nightclubs and Similar Places of Entertainment Law" (also known as the "Bar Girls Law") of 2000, such foreign women are not allowed to live onsite at their place of employment but, instead, live together as a group in a dormitory, which is usually adjacent to the nightclub or pub, or at another accommodation arranged by the establishment owner. In order to prevent establishment owners from taking their employees' passports, thus further restricting their freedom of movement, Turkish Cypriot immigration police hold the travel documents for the duration of their stay. (Note: The police fall under the "Prime Ministry," but they are ultimately under the operational command of the Turkish military, per transitional Article 10 of the "TRNC constitution," which "temporarily" cedes responsibility for public security and defense from Turkish Cypriot civilian authorities to Turkey. End note. See also 4.B.)
A nightclub may employ up to 12 women, and a pub may employ up to three. Women receive six-month "artiste"-category work permits, which they may renew; however, they are required to leave the area administered by Turkish Cypriots at the end of the first permit and then re-enter. These women may be subject to violence, threats, excessive working hours and inadequate pay, and may be forced to perform sexual acts for clients and employers.
C. In the past, authorities have not funded or supported an anti-TIP public awareness campaign, training for police officers, or aid to victims. However, the "Ministry of Interior" has told Embassy officers that limited funding may be available for these purposes under certain circumstances. Turkish Cypriot authorities are not a party to any international agreements due to the unrecognized status of the "TRNC." Likewise, no international NGOs have offices 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 authorities have not participated in any EU or international conferences or training programs on TIP. While general police corruption is a reported problem, there is no indication that such corruption is specifically linked to TIP activities.
D. Statistics are available from the Turkish Cypriot authorities upon request; there was no regular, public disclosure. The "Ministry of Interior" tracks the number of work permits issued to nightclubs and pubs. Immigration police track entries/exits and repatriations to/from the area administered by Turkish Cypriots. The "Ministry of Health" keeps statistics on the required, weekly health checks for nightclub workers, and the police keep statistics on arrests related to prostitution, in the absence of anti-trafficking legislation.
4. (SBU) Answers in this para are keyed to the questions in reftel, para 28, "Prevention."
A. Turkish Cypriot authorities acknowledge that trafficking is a problem. There is, however, much confusion of the issue with alien smuggling.
B. The "ministries" of Interior, Health, and Labor, as well as the police, are all involved in efforts to regulate the activities of nightclubs and pubs and to prevent the abuse of women working in these establishments. The "Ministry of Interior" serves as interagency coordinator. (Note: The police fall under the "Prime Ministry," but they are ultimately under the operational command of
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the Turkish military, per transitional Article 10 of the "TRNC constitution," which "temporarily" cedes responsibility for public security and defense from Turkish Cypriot civilian authorities to Turkey. End note.)
C. While Turkish Cypriot authorities have not committed resources to anti-TIP public awareness or demand reduction campaigns, the "Ministry of Interior" recently told Embassy officers that limited funding may be available for these purposes under certain circumstances. See para 3.C.
D. While Turkish Cypriot authorities have not committed resources to support other programs to prevent TIP, the "Ministry of Interior" recently told Embassy officers that limited funding may be available for these purposes under certain circumstances. See para 3.C.
E. There is little communication concerning TIP between Turkish Cypriot authorities and civil society. During the reporting period, there was only one local NGO actively concerned with trafficking; there were no international or local NGOs that provided services to TIP victims. See para 3.A.
F. Turkish Cypriot authorities make an effort to monitor both air and sea ports of entry and along the Green Line, keeping basic statistical information; however, they do not monitor immigration and emigration patterns for evidence of trafficking.
G. The Turkish Cypriot authorities listed in para 4.B comprise the "Nightclub Commission," an "interagency" group with "municipal" representation as well, that meets once a month to discuss issues related to nightclubs/pubs and their employees. The "Commission" makes recommendations to the "Ministry of Interior" on the granting of operating licenses, on changes to employee quotas, and on the need to intervene in any problems arising at a particular establishment. However, neither the "Commission" nor the "Ministry of Interior" can cancel an operating license.
H. Turkish Cypriot authorities have not developed a "national" plan of action to address TIP.
5. (SBU) Answers in this para are keyed to the questions in reftel, para 29, "Investigation and Prosecution of Traffickers."
A. The area administered by Turkish Cypriots does not have a law that specifically prohibits trafficking in persons. In 2006, trafficking-related cases were tried on the grounds of (1) "living off the earnings of prostitution or off the earnings of the provision of prostitutes" and/or (2) "encouraging prostitution." The law also prohibits (3) "abduction" and (4) "forced labor."
B. The area administered by Turkish Cypriots does not have a law that specifically prohibits trafficking in persons; however, persons convicted of "living off the earnings of prostitution or off the earnings of the provision of prostitutes," or of "encouraging prostitution," may receive up to two years imprisonment and/or a fine of YTL 1,000 (approx. $712).
C. Persons convicted of "abduction" may receive up to seven years imprisonment. Persons convicted of "forced labor" may receive up to one year imprisonment. The "attorney general" stated to Embassy officers that there were no complaints during the reporting period that would allow Turkish Cypriot authorities to press charges of "forced labor."
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D. The law prescribes no minimum sentence for individuals convicted of rape, including spousal rape; the maximum sentence is life imprisonment.
E. "Living off the earnings of prostitution or off the earnings of the provision of prostitutes" and "encouraging prostitution" are both illegal, and information was used to make arrests on both crimes during the reporting period. The authorities did not, however, use this information to close down any nightclubs or pubs.
F. Turkish Cypriot authorities did not prosecute any trafficking cases due to a lack of appropriate legislation. Police arrested a total of 218 people in 163 cases for related crimes, specifically, 97 cases of "living off the earnings of prostitution or off the earnings of the provision of prostitutes" and 66 cases of "encouraging prostitution." Of those 163 cases, 113 have been concluded, and 50 are still pending trial. Of the 113 concluded cases, 154 defendants were tried, 153 receiving fines and one receiving a prison sentence. Of these 154 defendants, according to Turkish Cypriot authorities, 30 were considered "TRNC" citizens while 16 were considered "TRNC"-Turkish dual citizens, 44 were Turkish, 54 were Moldovan, four were Bulgarian, three were Ukrainian, and three held ROC citizenship. Also noteworthy, one defendant was a nightclub owner, and 13 were nightclub managers.
G. Turkish Cypriot authorities say that they do not know precisely who is behind this trafficking, since victims arrive via Turkey. They do not know what happens to these foreign women between the time they leave their countries of origin and arrive in the area administered by Turkish Cypriots. The authorities have indicated, however, that men accompanying these women at/through ports of entry are often Turkish. They also believe that organized crime is behind the ownership and management of some of the nightclubs and pubs in the area administered by Turkish Cypriots. The press reported the claims of an independent researcher, who had interviewed "artistes" at nightclubs, that these women come to Cyprus with the assistance of supposed employment agencies seeking models, babysitters or elder caretakers.
H. Turkish Cypriot authorities actively investigated allegations of related crimes. See para 5.A. Police took advantage of nightclub and pub inspections to interview these foreign women and to ask if they were having any problems. According to police, several nightclubs and pubs are inspected on a weekly basis, and at least one operation is conducted each month. From these interviews, police estimated that around 10 percent of these foreign women did not understand, prior to their arrival on Cyprus, that they would be working in prostitution. Police do not use electronic surveillance, undercover operations, mitigated punishment or immunity in prosecuting cases. The law prohibits use of these techniques unless a judge makes an exception to such provisions for a particular case.
I. Turkish Cypriot authorities do not provide specialized training on TIP. See 3.A and C.
J. Turkish Cypriot authorities are able to cooperate only with Turkey, although they can and have contacted Interpol (via Turkey) as well. See 3.A and C.
K. The "TRNC constitution" does not allow the extradition of Turkish Cypriots; Turkish Cypriot authorities have no plans to amend this prohibition. The authorities can, however, extradite citizens from other countries, although they did not receive any requests to do so.
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L. While general police corruption is a reported problem, there is no indication that such corruption is specifically linked to TIP activities. To prevent corruption, the Police say that they assign officers to nightclub/pub inspections at random and do not announce these assignments until the last minute.
M. There is no indication that general police corruption is specifically linked to TIP activities. The Police have an internal disciplinary mechanism that functions in cooperation with the "Attorney General's office." No officials were prosecuted for engaging in related crimes.
6. (SBU) Answers in this para are keyed to the questions in reftel, para 30, "Protection and Assistance to Victims."
A. The "Ministry of Health" requires nightclub employees to report to a hospital for weekly health checks in order to prevent the spread of sexually-transmitted diseases. Furthermore, the "Ministry" inspects nightclubs to ensure that these women are not subjected to unsanitary working or living conditions.
Also, the "Ministry of Health" operates a "157" helpline, similar to the one operating in Turkey, to provide support to these foreign women. The nurse responsible for answering the "157" calls speaks Russian, Moldovan, English and Turkish. However, when Embassy officers recently called the helpline, the nurse did not identify herself or the service.
With the stated intention of protecting these foreign women, the "Nightclubs and Similar Places of Entertainment Law" mandates that immigration police keep their passports during their stay on Cyprus. Also under the law, immigration police repatriate any woman who wants to leave. Because of the above, Turkish Cypriot authorities do not see a need to offer shelter or counselling. In 2006, 235 foreign women were repatriated.
B. Turkish Cypriot authorities did not provide funding or other forms of support to foreign or domestic NGOs for services to victims.
C. There is no formal system of identification and referral. See para 6.A.
D. Victims' rights are generally protected. See para 6.A.
E. The area administered by Turkish Cypriots has noQnti-trafficking legislation. Police claim that an unspecified number of foreign women gave statements in the investigations of crimes related to prostitution. There is no victim restitution program. These women are not permitted to pursue other employment in the area administered by Turkish Cypriots if they leave their nightclub or pub. However, if legal action is sought, the woman attains "witness" status and is accommodated in a hotel under police protection until the case is concluded.
F. See 6.E. Though there is no formalized witness protection program, if legal action is sought, the woman attains "witness" status and is accQmodated in a hotel under police protection until the case is concluded. There is no publicly-supported shelter in the
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area administered by Turkish Cypriots. Turkish Cypriot authorities argue that there is no need for such victim services, including a shelter, because the Police arrange immediate repatriation for foreign women who wish to leave their employment.
G. Turkish Cypriot authorities do not provide specialized training for "officials" in recognizing trafficking and in providing assistance to victims.
I. There were no international organizations or NGOs that worked with TIP victims. See pare 4.E.