Minister of Justice and Public Order, Anna Koukkides-Procopiou said emphasis should be placed in severe punishment for traffickers.
At the same time, she expressed the readiness of the Republic of Cyprus to work with its European partners for the revision of the European legislation to combat migrant smuggling and making use of the support offered by Eurojust.
Procopiou was speaking during the International Conference on a Global Alliance to Counter Migrant Smuggling in Brussels organised by the European Commission under President Ursula von der Leyen, Commissioner for Home Affairs, Ylva Johansson, Commissioner for Justice, Didier Reynders, Commissioner for Neighbourhood and Enlargement, Olivier Várhelyi, and Commissioner for International Partnerships, Jutta Urpilainen.
In her intervention, the Minister referred to the importance of close international cooperation between all countries, whether they are countries of origin, transit or destination, to effectively and comprehensively prevent trafficking, which is driven by organised criminal networks that are very often linked to terrorism and the commission of other serious crimes.
The Minister also referred to the instrumentalisation of illegal migration flows and the challenges that Cyprus faces due to the Turkish occupation. She presented to the participants the way and the extent to which Cyprus is affected by the illegal trafficking of migrants, both through the occupied areas from Turkey and by sea from Syria and Lebanon.
As a preventive measure, Minister Procopiou suggested emphasising the severe criminal consequences for traffickers and making use of the support offered by Eurojust.
Concluding, the Minister of Justice and Public Order stressed the readiness of the Republic of Cyprus to work with its European and international partners to combat migrant smuggling.