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Society

Cyprus Fears Migrants, Refugees Cheating Asylum System

October 24, 2018

Migrants and refugees are using a number of tricks in a bid to deceive the asylum application process in Cyprus, including child marriages and women falsely claiming to be human smuggling victims, the head of the country’s anti-trafficking unit Rita Superman said.

Superman told the Cyprus News Agency (CNA) there is a curious mixturen odd mixture of factors involving human trafficking and exploitation, saying in many cases individual migrants become vulnerable and fall victim of human traffickers.

Superman, who heads an Interpol task force committee, said the connection between exploitation and trafficking was seen in children forced into marriages as well as the abuse of foreign student visas, spousal visas, and tourist permits.

She said there was an “organized influx of Cameroonians” Cyprus who appear to have detailed knowledge of the steps involved in the asylum application process even before they get to the island.

“They know all the procedures leading to the identification of a trafficking victim and so they reach out to us. It is not impossible that they are indeed human trafficking victims, but it is very difficult to confirm it,” Superman said.

She added there was an “incredible combination of factors” in the way human trafficking appears in countries, adding that Cyprus is receiving a ”worrying” number of arrivals compared to its size and capacity.

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