ACTIVE CONSULTATION WITH THE REFUGEE AND IMMIGRANT COMMUNITIES
Burning issues concerning the living conditions of migrants and refugees in Cyprus were revealed through the A’ Dialogue Forum ‘’Open Society’’, which was created by the Municipality of Larnaka as the coordinator of the program of integration with local authorities. Said issues are the serious lack of housing and the cost of rent but also the willingness of the refugees and asylum seekers to learn the Greek language and find a job so to have an independent and respectful life and not to depend on state allowances.
The Dialogue Forum is one of the activities of the program presented on Wednesday 27h of November in the context of the press conference. In his speech, the Mayor of Larnaka Andreas Vyras emphasized that Larnaka did and always will have as a goal to be an open society of mutual respect and coexistence through which everybody will feel like home without being of victim of any discriminatory behavior. Mr Vyras welcomed the development of the program actions as an input to the overall effort for a smooth integration of immigrants and refugees to our society. The Head of the European Funds Unit Constantinos Kyprianou mentioned that the local authorities can play a drastic role in ensuring a smooth integration and in overcoming racism and xenophobia. He also mentioned that funding opportunities towards Cyprus for the management of the migratory phenomenon will triple over the last 3 years.
The Dialogue Forum was funded to give the opportunity to refugee, asylum seekers and migrant representatives to express their positions and through the Municipality of Larnaka to forward them to the government. This is to ensure a better understanding of their needs and organization of more targeted interventions through implementation of programs.
Several refugees shared their experiences and life difficulties in Cyprus and expressed their commitment to work so as to live with dignity. Through the dialogue some core categories of issues emerged, which were recorded and will be publicized and be made full use of by the public authorities.
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For more information: www.opensociety.com.cy | [email protected]
Responsible Officer / Coordinator: Dimitris Georgiou [email protected]