The United Nation’s Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC)’s Global Report on Trafficking in Persons, stipulates that at 79 per cent, “sexual exploitation is by far the most commonly identified form of human trafficking”, followed by forced labour.
According to UNODC’s report, human trafficking affects every country of the world, as countries of origin, transit or destination, or even a combination of all. The annual revenue generated by prostitution worldwide is estimated to be over 0 billion.
“It is because of Cyprus’ small size that messages such as ‘women and girls are not for sale’ should spread in all levels of society, from schools to the judicial and political levels,” Christodoulou said.
Swedish law stipulates that purchasing a sexual service even once, or even attempting to do so, is sufficient for criminal liability.
For some is a way of handling stress or other psychological problems, like depression, anxiety.
“If we don’t have demand we won’t have prostitution and human trafficking.
According to the evaluation of the sex purchase law in Sweden, it has proven to have good outcomes to protect women and children.” Green and a Swedish sexologist, Ylva Gronvall, spoke at a conference in Cyprus last month on ‘International Best Practices in Combating Human Trafficking’.
Josie Christodoulou, the policy coordinator at the Mediterranean Institute of Gender Studies (MIGS), says the phrasing of the existing trafficking legislation leaves room for ambiguity.
She wants the penal code modified further to criminalise buyers of sex and to decrimalise women working as prostitutes, along with programmes to help women out of prostitution. “Because of the small size of the country, this can be considered as a good practice to implement, and it can work,” Christodoulou said.