In spite of the fact that the Schengen evaluation process to assess readiness to join the Schengen Zone is ongoing for Cyprus, some human trafficking networks have started to falsely claim that all persons who reach Cyprus unlawfully are eligible to travel to other Schengen Zone countries.
Such claims by human trafficking networks come following Cyprus’s accession to the Schengen Information System (SIS), which makes the country one step closer to becoming the newest member of the EU’s visa-free travel zone.
Human trafficking networks then began to falsely claim that controls have since then been terminated, in spite of the fact that the Interior Ministry stated that is not the case.
“Checks at the internal borders with other Schengen member states have not been lifted, both for Republic of Cyprus citizens and other EU nationals, as well as third-country nationals,” the Ministry stressed.
The decision to allow Cyprus to become part of the SIS, among others, ensures safe passage and freedom of movement of those who have the right to move freely within the Schengen Zone; however, controls have continued to remain in place, as confirmed by the country’s Interior Ministry.
“Until Cyprus joins the Schengen Area, Cyprus will continue – as before – to conduct checks on arriving and departing passengers at all crossing points,” the report notes.
Cyprus joined the SIS on July 25, and the decision is expected to further ease cooperation between security authorities, such as police, and other service immigration, among others.
The director of the country’s SIRENE (Supplementary Information Requested at the National Entries) bureau, Dora Nikandrou, considered that there is no doubt that the interconnection of Cyprus with the SIS will further help the country in its fight against crime at national as well as European level.
In addition, she stressed that the trafficking of people, services, and goods is now done through enormous facilities, considering the SIS as a counterbalance to the dangers inherent in free movement related to crime as speed and immediacy of information make the work of criminals more difficult.
In December last year, authorities in Cyprus urged the EU countries to grant them accession to this system.
Back in 2019, Cyprus officially endorsed its application for membership in the Schengen Zone, and it expects to join the passport-free zone in the near future.
The Schengen Information System is considered the most widely used and largest system of sharing information for security as well as border management in Europe. Besides, the SIS also helps to detect persons who attempt to reach the borderless zone’s countries in an unlawful way.