The European Court of Human Rights delivered a landmark
judgment for the repression of human trafficking in a case
concerning the suspicious death of a 20-year old Russian
woman working in Cyprus as a cabaret artiste.
Having being represented by Ms Churkina, the lawyer of the NGO Sutyajnik, supported by the MacArthur Foundation for the last 15 years, Nikolay Rantsev, father of Oxana Rantseva who was trafficked, sexually exploited and died under strange and unknown circumstances in Limassol, Cyprus, after being recruited as an interpreter in Russia, first brought the case before the ECHR in 2004.
Although the Russian government has now requested that the case be referred to the Grand Chamber of the ECHR to review the judgment of 7 January 2010 , Ms. Churkina applauded the ruling for prohibiting "Cyprus businessmen and cabaret owners to use Russian, Ukrainian and other young women from being included in trafficking sex exploitation."
To execute the judgment, Cyprus now has the obligation to conduct an effective investigation of Oxana Rantseva's death. This ruling also urges the Russian government to ratify the European Convention on Action Against Trafficking in Human Beings, as the ECHR also ruled that Russia had failed to protect Oxana Rantsev from recruitment under the false motives and as it is estimated that the majority of the victims of this modern slave trade either come from or are trafficked via Russia.
The judgement of the ECHR in Rantsev v. Cyprus and Russia is a significative step in the fight against human trafficking and contemporary slavery, an issue that still faces a large amount of indifference from law enforcement agencies in some European countries. As it has successfully done for many years now, Sutyjanik is dedicated to bring awareness to this issue and induce necessary changes in governement's policies as part of its wider commitment in the protection and promotion of human rights.