The Cyprus Refugee Council, is an independent, non for profit organization, established as the evolution of the Humanitarian Affairs Unit of the NGO Future Worlds Center. The Unit during its 11 years of operation had grown significantly to become the expert in Cyprus on refugee related issues, making it one of the main actors in Cyprus in the area. Besides implementing a UNHCR funded project since 2006 the Unit has implemented a considerable number of related projects under various funds such as UNVFVT, EU Commission funds, EPIM, ECRE, German Embassy and other.
Given the growth of the Unit, the Board of Directors of the Future Worlds Center has supported its evolution into an independent entity, which focuses exclusively on issues related to refugees and asylum seekers as well as other inter-related issues. The independent entity with the name ‘Cyprus Refugee Council’ is the first NGO in Cyprus to focus primarily on refugees. The work carried out by the Unit as well as the existing team is in the process of being transferred on to the CyRC. The organization has a 6 member Board of Directors and 12 people staff.
The CyRC's Team includes members who have over 10 years experience in refugee related work and a clear understanding of the population and the environment in Cyprus, including opportunities and challenges. The Team has been able to build significantly on its local knowledge and presence, and over the years it has shown its ability to gain the trust of persons of concern through the rapport established with the refugees and their communities in Cyprus. Furthermore, the team is considered by many national institutions as well as local and International/EU organisations, and NGOs as a credible and reliable source of information on related issues.
The Cyprus Refugee Council (CyRC) strives to safeguard, support and advocate for the rights of vulnerable groups in Cyprus, promoting their effective integration into the host society. Focusing on refugees, asylum seekers, detainees, trafficking victims and survivors of torture, CyRC works closely with the local society in order to provide quality services at the individual, community and policy level.
CyRC aims to;
• Promote human rights and social justice.
• Contribute towards an inclusive society
• Advocate for the rights of refugees, asylum seekers and migrants
• Address social inequalities, poverty and exclusion
• Combat racism, xenophobia, and discrimination
What we do: Advocacy
We advocate for the establishment and implementation of positive legislation, policies and practices, in accordance with International and European Law. This is carried out directly towards national, EU and International bodies, through evidence based advocacy.
• Case management
Our team of experts follows an inter-disciplinary approach, by providing individualized legal, social and psychological support to persons of concern with the aim to ensure access to rights, integration into the local communities and a satisfactory quality of life.
• Community Work & Capacity Building
At the community level, we pursue the empowerment of individuals and groups as well as their mobilisation, and meaningful participation in all aspects of society. For that purpose, we conduct trainings, workshops, seminars and other capacity building activities to persons of concern, other NGOs and professionals in the field, volunteers and members of local communities, authorities and policy makers.
• Public Awareness
We promote a positive and respectful public attitude towards vulnerable groups by encouraging open-mindedness, addressing marginalisation and discrimination of persons of concern and combating xenophobia and intolerance. Furthermore, we network with relevant civil society actors, educational institutions and media.
In the context of various projects, we undertake research activities in order to develop existing knowledge and conduct sound analysis of the cultural, political and economic context of population of persons of concern and their host communities as well as the community dynamics.
1. Strengthening Asylum is a project funded by the UNHCR Representation in Cyprus. The project aims to advocate for the enhancement of rights of asylum seekers and refugees, as well as to support, and encourage their integration into the Cypriot society.
2. Pilot Implementation of Alternatives to Detention (AtDs) of TCN in Cyprus, is a 2-year project funded by the European Programme for Integration and Migration (EPIM).
3. Supporting Victims of Torture is a project funded by the United Nations Voluntary Fund for Victims of Torture. The project aims to support and promote the empowerment and rehabilitation of people who have been subjected to torture, inhumane, degrading treatment or punishment in their country of origin and/or in Cyprus.
4. The project “Co-creating a counseling method for refugee women gender-based violence victims” is funded by the European Commission Directorate-General Justice and Consumers.The projects overall aim is to inform, support and encourage reporting of refugee women GBV victims by offering them access to specific support service.
5. METs:This project is a European project between seven expert refugee rehabilitation centers. It aims in designing and testing an empowerment method for survivors of torture and victims of trafficking. The method will be presented through a conference to all expert centers in Europe.
Through our team's expertice in matters of refugees we can contribute to the development of a more peaceful and interculture society, with no social inequalities, racism, xenophobia and discrimination. Refugees, are one part of the society that faces isolation and discrimination, and as our mission suggests we strive to safeguard and support the rights of vulnerable populations.
Furthermore, through advocacy work and our experience we can contribute to the development of policies and shared values that will bring cultures together.
Joining the ALF Network will give us the oportunity to meet other organizations to exchange knowledge and good practices. Moreover, we hope to get funding oportunities that will allow us to utilize and impliment ideas and goals that will assist the quality of life of refugees in Cyprus. Lastly, we know that the ALF Network will open oportunities for CyRC to expand it's work and knowledge.