Trafficking of Women for Sexual Exploitation in Cyprus
: Social Policies and Social Work Practice

  • Panayiota Christodoulou

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Abstract

This study has used qualitative methods to examine social work practices and social policy regarding the trafficking of women for sexual exploitation in Cyprus. In-depth interviews were conducted with victims of trafficking and key stakeholders, from government and non-government services, aiming to examine the perceptions of both groups of participants and to examine the weaknesses and strengths of the government of Cyprus’ system for tackling trafficking and protecting the victims. It aims to inform the government about ways in which policies and practices can improve. The study adopted a constructivist approach and reflexivity was utilised to interpret the data in order to mitigate any ethical pitfalls. The main finding of this study is that the government of Cyprus has not adequately addressed weaknesses in policy and practice in regard to tackling trafficking of women for sexual exploitation and protection of victims. Although legislation and policy appear to be adequate, there are failures in implementation. The victims’ needs are also not met effectively, especially after their court case is over. The failure of the government to implement its stated policy is found, according to the participants, to result from the lack of political will to change, which is due to preconceptions and biases towards gender equality, racism and xenophobia. In addition, social work practices which specialise in the trafficking of women for sexual exploitation are scarce and there is no indication from the government that this is going to change in the near future. Furthermore, the study finds that the government of Cyprus needs to focus more on prevention measures and interventions which could address discrimination issues amongst the young population and to implement more up-to-date tools for better collaboration and coordination amongst the services involved in tackling trafficking and protecting the victims.
Date of Award6 Nov 2018
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • The University of Bristol
SupervisorAnn Singleton (Supervisor) & John S W Carpenter (Supervisor)

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