Damning Council of Europe report on government inaction on racism
Statement by the Migration Policy and Anti-racist Bureau of AKEL
AKEL C.C. Press Office, 6 June 2019, Nicosia
The concerns of the European Committee Against Racism and Intolerance of the Council of Europe in its Report which has been published today have come to heighten the concerns we have been expressing for some time. The Commission notes that the Office of the Commissioner for Administration and Human Rights (Ombudsman) has not “carried out any activities whatsoever aimed at providing support to vulnerable groups or communication activities and has not proceeded to publish any publications or reports or recommendations on issues relating to discriminations since 2016”.
The Report strongly recommended to the authorities the need to elaborate a new plan for the integration of foreign workers, including foreign domestic helpers, refugees and beneficiaries of subsidiary protection and other migrants, pointing out that this should be done in close cooperation with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, the relevant non-governmental organizations and migrant associations, and that it must be accompanied by a public awareness campaign to inform the public, as well as employers and finance institutions about the rights of those eligible for international protection. We note that the previous Scheme for the Integration of Immigrants expired in 2012 and hasn’t been updated since then.
The Report is damning, both for the relevant Commissioner, as well as the government that appointed her. We hope that the Report will at long last make the relevant Commissioner, but also the government, sensitive towards changing the unacceptable attitude they are adopting on the emotive issues raised by the Report. The Commissioner must assume her responsibilities and implement what the Report proposes. Racism, xenophobia and human rights violations are on the rise in Cyprus, and if they are not addressed effectively by the institutions and the state itself, then we shall reap the results of their indifference and incapability.
Intervention of Georgos Koukoumas, member of the C.C. of AKEL and the International Relations Department, at the Hearing “Palestine: What’s Next?” organized by GUE/NGL2015-07-1
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