EWL News

Cyprus: Stop Institutional Violence against Migrant Women

[Brussels, 24 July, 2013] Members of the European Women’s Lobby and other Civil Society actors take action to react against the augmenting violence against migrant women in Cyprus. As the Association of Women’s Rights in Development informs us, an illegal deportation of a victim of trafficking, a deportation of a Romanian woman in violation of a Supreme Court order and physical violence by the police against a pregnant Romanian woman that led to the woman miscarrying, represent violations that took place recently against migrant women in Cyprus.

More specifically, a Ukrainian woman that was an identified as victim of trafficking and who was helping the authorities on a trafficking case against a cabaret owner was deported instead of being repatriated, as the legislation in Cyprus and international treaties oblige.

On the same page, a woman from Romania, resident of Cyprus since 2006, was arrested with the purpose of deportation because of suspicions related to her having committed a "marriage of convenience". Despite the fact that the Supreme Court ruled against her deportation, the Civil Registry and Migration Department, with the agreement of the Minister of Interior, proceeded to her being deported, violating clearly the Supreme Court’s decision.

Arrested for alleged aggressiveness, news agencies report that another Romanian woman was beaten by the police to the point where she had a miscarriage.

A press release with the aforementioned information has been signed by the following organizations:

  • Mediterranean Institute of Gender Studies (MIGS)
  • Socialist Women’s Movement
  • Action for Equality, Support and Anti-Racism (ΚISA)
  • Organization for the Protection of Victims of Sexual Violence and Exploitation (STIGMA)
  • Cyprus Family Planning Association (FamPlan)

Taking into consideration that in most cases, violations like these do not get reported, one can understand that, most likely, they do not represent isolated facts but a broader reality about the misuse of institutional power in Cyprus. These examples are thought to be only the tip of the iceberg.

We all should be highly alarmed by these incidents. Institutional violence against migrant women has to be addressed immediately and effectively. Such forms of abuse of power, illegal actions on behalf of institutional actors, and impunity are setting an unacceptable example that could lead to even worse situations if not dealt with.

Source: Announcement in Association of Women’s Rights in Development

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