Reintegration of victims of human trafficking with guidance from the case of Cyprus
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Despite the adoption of international as well as national legislation in most countries in the world, human trafficking is a crime that is not diminishing. 80% of victims of human trafficking are women and girls. Anti-trafficking efforts have been mainly put into the criminal justice response and prosecutorial measures. A significant variance between the numbers of prosecutions and convictions shows a sign of impunity to traffickers around the world, the perpetrators of a number of human rights violations. Preventive measures have mainly focused on awareness raising, instead of tackling root causes. It is therefore necessary to re-evaluate existing counter-trafficking measures.A new approach to combat human trafficking has entered the global andEuropean agenda: one that centres the human rights of the victims. A new phenomenon is also observed: the phenomenon of re-trafficking. Retrafficking amounts up to 30% of identified victims in some countries. The reintegration and social inclusion of victims of human traffickingcombines these two aspects ideally: it focuses on the individual victim’s humanrights and by doing so eradicates root causes of vulnerability to being retrafficked again. Reintegration is therefore a form of protection and of prevention. Cyprus is not exempt from the phenomenon of human trafficking. National legislation has been adopted, but adequate implementation is lacking. Continuously increasing numbers of victims of human trafficking are identified. Prosecutions do not lead to according numbers of convictions. An institutionalised human rights based approach comprising stronger measures of prevention and protection - including reintegration - is called for.