The Cyprus House Ethics committee heard on Wednesday that around 8,500 domestic workers had been reported missing in the country.
Zacharias Zachariou, chairman of the Ethnics committee said, nobody knows where these thousands of missing workers are.
The committee also heard from Andreas Tsaggarides, head of private employment agencies, who said that there were an estimated of 100,000 unregistered migrants working illegally in Cyprus. He said the data was unofficial but reliable sources point to a trafficking ring in Cyprus bringing the women into the country. Many domestic workers come to work in Cyprus legally and end up applying for asylum.
Cyprus Interior Minister Constantinos Petrides said that a third of the migrant flow to Cyprus was legal, however many apply for asylum just as their visas expire. Mr Petrides said that asylum seekers exceed 3.5 per cent of the country’s population, an example of the failure of European policy to curb the issue. He slammed the anachronistic legal framework that makes it possible for economic migrants to abuse the system. He also questioned European solidarity when it came to the redistribution of asylum seekers.
Attention on Cyprus’ migrant community and the plight of domestic workers came into the splotlight following the murder of four domestic workers and two children who were killed and dumped in the Mitsero area by serial killer Nicos Metaxas. All had been reported missing.