Nicosia-based Mediterranean Institute of Gender Studies on Friday expressed regret over the relegation of Cyprus to Tier Two in the US annual report on human trafficking for 2017.
“In addition to the negative image Cyprus gets, we have to seriously consider the fact that human trafficking continues to flourish in our country,” the Institute said in a statement.
The State Department’s report, which covers 187 countries, said Cyprus did not meet the minimum requirements to remain in Tier One and was subsequently relegated.
There are two further categories: Tier Two –under surveillance and Tier Three which is the lowest category.
The report states that Cyprus has made efforts in meeting the minimum requirements while it has improved its efforts to assist victims by giving them residence permits.
But Cyprus has sentenced the lowest numbers of traffickers, started the least number of legal procedures against traffickers and recognised the lowest number of victims.
The report calls on the government to try and sentence traffickers according to the relevant legislation.