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Cyprus

KISA says Cyprus effectively telling refugees: don’t come, your life here will be dire

The Syrian students are currently living at Kofinou reception centre

Migrant support group KISA on Sunday called for a comprehensive integration policy and equal participation of asylum seekers and people with international protection in society.

The call came a ahead of World Refugee Day on Monday.
KISA also called on the Cyprus government to abandon the policy of concession of subsidiary protection status to beneficiaries of recognised refugee status, through the adoption of effective procedures that would ensure a fair examination of asylum applications.

“As far as it concerns Cyprus, the majority of asylum seekers and people with international protection are forced to live in dire conditions,” the organisation said.

“Their extremely difficult integration into the labour market and the institutional racism that they face every day, are only some of the evidence demonstrating the complete failure of the asylum system.”

It said, further, the deprivation of the recognised refugee status from applicants in combination with the ineffectiveness of the integration policies in the Cypriot society, are promoted by the government in order to send the right message: “Cyprus should not be an option for refugees since it is extremely difficult to be able to live a decent life”, it added.

KISA said the xenophobic climate “skillfully cultivated” in recent years by political parties and right-wing, populist deputies towards refugees, had undoubtedly led to the adoption of policies that had impeded the lives of refugees.

“At the same time, ELAM, the neo-Nazi political party and other right-wing movements have politically invested on this climate of xenophobia and racism, managing to increase their influence in society and to enter the Cypriot parliament,” it concluded.

The European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI) of the Council of Europe said earlier this month that Cyprus needed to come up with a new plan for the integration of non-nationals.

Despite some human rights improvements in Cyprus in recent years, the ECRI in a 47-page report came up with a long list of actions that still needed to be taken by authorities.



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