OUR ANTI-TRAFFICKING WORK IN CYPRUS 

– Cooperation with the authorities

– Meeting and helping the victims on a daily basis

– Halfway House

– Room of Hope (Day Care Center)

During the last years Europe has become the biggest destination for human  trafficking. According to international statistics, especially Cyprus has gained a questionable reputation as the disgrace of Europe. There are thousands of victims of human trafficking flowing into the country every year. During the worst years, the number of women crossing the borders has been over 6000.

A report made by the UNHCR in 2011 shows that the Cypriot government has not reached even the minimum standards in order to eliminate human trafficking. In addition, a report made in the U.S in 2012 shows that when it comes to human trafficking, Cyprus falls into the same category with Afghanistan and Liberia.

In our work we daily encounter survivors of human trafficking. These girls and women are mainly coming from the poor countries of Europe, such as Bulgaria, Romania, Moldova and Belorussian. There is also a large number of women brought from Vietnam and the Philippines.

The consequences of forced prostitution are visible in many ways. Most of the women are suffering from severe
mental and physical problems, as well as different addictions. The women are often also illiterate, not able to
speak the local language, lacking a home, employment and money. In our work against human trafficking we aim to help these girls and women in many different ways. We take them to walks from the shelter provided by the government, to the hospital and different offices. We also aim to motivate them by offering them opportunities, for example, to learn languages, make crafts and jewelries, meet each others in a form of different theme nights and engage them in different sports activities. We also aim to be in contact with the girls apart from the activities offering them opportunities to talk. We have also outreaches in the form of prayer walks in the nightclub and brothel areas.

In addition to the above mentioned work forms, we are working within two different projects. One of these is the transition home which was established for the victims of human trafficking. Our goal is to offer a safe and peaceful
place where the women coming from government’s shelter are able to receive restoration and empowerment in order to be able to go back to ordinary life. The project is carried out in cooperation with Wellspring http://www.wellspringcyprus.com/

Another our project is Room of Hope, a Day Care Center for the victims of human trafficking and their children. The mission of the women’s program is to empower women by equipping them with renewed self esteem, new skills and sheltered employment – the first and crucial stepping stones on the difficult but possible path to build a new life of dignity and sustainability.The center opened its doors in September 2014.

 

OUR WORK AGAINST HUMAN TRAFFICKING IN FINLAND

– Informing

– Education

– Seminars

– Books

– Documentaries

In Finland, at the moment, we are working in the field of informing and educating. We are lecturing about sexual exploitation and human trafficking in several seminars, churches and schools. In addition, we are writing and speaking about the topic in various medias, such as in TV, newspapers, internet and radio. Below few links to Finnish webpages:

http://www.ess.fi/uutiset/kotimaa/2014/10/25/lomasaarella-pyorii-synkka-seksibisnes-suomalaisnainen-auttaa-uhreja

http://avaimia.net/ihmiskaupan-vastainen-tyo-kohtaa-yksitellen-kyproksella-pia-rendic/

http://www.lahetystyo.com/2014/04/10/ihmiskauppa-iskee-kaikkein-heikoimpiin/

http://www.seurakuntalainen.fi/uutiset/elamantaito/4710/on_aika_herata_huomaamaan_ihmiskaupan_todellisuus

In February 2015 Uusi Tie was published a book Ihmiskaupan kasvot (The Faces of Human Trafficking) written by Pia Rendic. The book sheds light onto the reality of human trafficking and brings forth prostitution and porn.

TV-documentary Rose in Paradise was premiered during the spring 2015. Documentary shows a different view behind the scenes of the land of love and beauty -Cyprus. Are people only commodities to each other or is there something more in us?