"Hope For Children" CRC Policy Center (HFC) is an International Humanitarian Institution comprising of 52 staff members. Based in Nicosia, Cyprus, "Hope For Children" CRC Policy Center is a non-profit institution, non-governmental organisation with a worldwide presence in 8 other countries (USA, Portugal, Denmark, Italy, Hungary, Romania, Nigeria, and the Spain).
The budgetary resources available for the Organisation in 2016 was €737,689 and the main source of funding for most of HFC’s projects derive from the European Commission and the Solidarity Funds of the Ministry of Interior in Cyprus. HFC constantly engages with a diverse and growing number of stakeholders (social partners, institutional actors, civil society and policy makers) urging for the development of child-friendly justice in Cyprus and the establishment of a juvenile justice system, and promoting participatory approaches for children and youth.
One of the most important projects that was recently approved and is currently being implemented is the development of the first Children's House in Cyprus according to the Icelandic model which offers holistic services for victims of child abuse under one roof minimizing the exposure of the victims to untrained professionals or non-child friendly environments. Additionally, long term active projects under the coordination of the Research & Development Department of HFC are developing activities and deliverables related to digital education for gender equality, positive parenting against corporal punishment, innovative strategies to integrate unaccompanied minors and foster care program for unaccompanied minors.
Our Institution has a consistent and dedicated approach to protecting and promoting the rights of the child and to support the active participation of children and youth in society. The aim is to advocate and to protect children's rights, based on the standards and principles of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and European Union Law, regardless of their background. In this direction, “Hope For Children" CRC Policy Center has become the first Cypriot international organisation to have been granted participatory status at the Council of Europe. In addition, we also enjoy the observatory status in the Lanzarote Committee of the Council of Europe.
The operation of the Institution is founded on the principle of promoting and protecting the rights of children and we aim to do this through the implementation of a variety of projects on a national, european and global level. That is why "Hope For Children" CRC Policy Center has initiated and established close cooperation with institutions and actors on an international and european level, inclusive legislative, executive and judicial instruments, while at the same time is a member of significant networks to further promote the rights of the child on a global scale.
"Hope For Children" CRC Policy Center is an affiliated member of the following:
Cooperating partner of the Council of Europe for the ONE in FIVE Campaign
Coordinator for the Observatory for Returned Children
National focal point for the Separated Children in Europe Programme
Focal point for the European Network of Guardian Institutions
National Focal Point for the European Juvenile Justice Observatory
Member of the European Federation Missing Children Europe
Member of the European Network of Child Friendly Cities
Member of the Destination Unknown Campaign
Member of the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights
In general, HFC aims to provide guidance and support for the development of more effective and comprehensive child protection systems across the EU. In this direction, campaigns/projects at a grassroots level undertaken by HFC include: Non-formal Human Rights Education (HRE) for teachers and children, ONE in FIVE Campaign to stop sexual violence against children (2014 - ongoing), the operation of the European Helpline for the Support of Children and Adolescents 116111 (ongoing), the Missing Children Hotline 116000 (ongoing), the implementation and enforcement of the “Beat Bullying” Campaign (2013-ongoing), the opening and coordination of the Children’s House (2017), the Training of the Professionals involved in the Juvenile Judicial Procedures (2017), the Foster Care program for unaccompanied minors (2016-2017) and the Social Skills Workshops for third country nationals (2016-2017).
Additionally, HFC contributes significantly in the area of Children on the Move, following EU laws on asylum and family reunification through Dublin procedures. It directly provides rehabilitation, integration and durable solution services to migrant children primarily through the operation of a children’s shelter for unaccompanied minors, called “Home for Hope”. The two “Home for hope” shelters, accommodate around 40 minors between the ages of 13 -18, who have suffered abuse and/or exploitation. The shelter provides interdisciplinary and holistic services based on models that are considered good practices in other European countries, after they are first adapted to the needs and special circumstances of Cyprus. Such activities are complemented by research and policy-making together with solid collaboration with national authorities in the social welfare, migration and asylum sectors.
HFC leads and takes part in several european projects in the field of gender equality, social inclusion and integration of young migrants. For example, the Organisation coordinates a european project called INTEGRA which aims to provide multidisciplinary mentorship programme to support the entrepreneurship of children in care and young care-leavers. Furthermore, HFC takes part in various european projects such as MEDIS – Mediterranean Inclusive Schools, CREUS: Developing & Nurturing the Vocational transversal skills of Disadvantaged Young People through Creative, Non-Formal Learning in Unconventional Spaces, and CONVEY: Counteracting sexual violence and harassment.
“Hope For Children” CRC Policy Center has a longstanding experience in the protection and promotion of children’s rights and in the field of human rights, integration of young migrants, children on the move, gender-equality and migration. It also enjoys partnerships and collaborations with a wide range of national, european and international partners as its work has a strong European dimension. In this way, HFC can support in the coordination, consultation and mobilisation of the Heads of Network in Cyprus through its vast network and multileveled partnerships in Cyprus and Europe.
The large and multidisciplinary team of the Organisation (lawyers, social workers, psychologists, child supporters and liaison officers) is available to share its expertise and knowledge in the seminars/trainings organised by the National Network of ALF in Cyprus and abroad. HFC is ready to assist and support the National Network in Cyprus with the provision of experts, trainers, educators that may be needed for seminars/trainings in Cyprus and abroad.
“Hope For Children” CRC Policy Center is a strong advocate for joining large networks that shares common values with, such as the Anna Lindh Foundation network, which brings together an important number of over 4000 civil society organizations for the promotion of dialogue between cultures across Europe and the Mediterranean. HFC wishes to build partnerships based on shared interests and mutual respect with the member organizations that share common interests and values. The rich diversity of the ALF Network opens up a path of infinite possibilities and collaborations where organizations of diverse nature can share expertise, good practices and valuable knowledge in many fields. In this manner, accessing this network is very important for the HFC.
Additionally, “Hope For Children” CRC Policy Center strongly adheres with the ALF’s aim which is to contribute to the development of an Intercultural Strategy for the Euro-Mediterranean Region and promoting diversity and coexistence.
It is important for the Organisation to have an open channel of communication and build bridges with NGOs, public institutions, foundations, local and regional authorities, individuals and private organisations that work in the fields of research, gender, community development, human rights and youth and education. Being cognizant of the fact that ALF has launched and supported action across these fields, HFC is keen in collaborating and developing projects that can further foster the impact on these fields with organisations that share common values with.