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Rita Theodorou Superman

Cyprus , Class of 2016

Rita Theodorou Superman

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As head of the police anti-trafficking unit in the Republic of Cyprus, Rita Theodorou Superman has dedicated herself to the fight against human trafficking for the past ten years.

Under her leadership, the anti-trafficking unit has grown exponentially and the scope of its activity has expanded from primarily desk work to training law enforcement, planning and carrying out police operations and investigations, identifying victims of trafficking and supporting them during trials, and working closely with public prosecutors to ensure successful prosecutions. 

A trafficking survivor’s story highlights Ms. Superman’s extraordinary devotion to her work.  In 2007, a young Moldovan woman landed in Cyprus believing she had received a scholarship to study accounting.  Upon arrival, she was forced into sex trafficking at a cabaret, and was only freed five months later during a police raid.  The young woman wanted to testify against her former traffickers, but was intimidated by death threats.  She credits Ms. Superman for giving her the courage to testify.  During the 20-month-long trial, Ms. Superman personally made sure she was safe, frequently escorting her from one location to another.

Due to her tireless efforts, Ms. Superman has gained the trust of NGOs in Cyprus fighting against human trafficking, and of individual victims who regularly reach out to her even after a case has concluded.

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