A human rights group is calling on authorities to do more to help asylum applicants in Cyprus, saying rules governing financial aid are “racist and inhuman” five years post economic crisis.
The Cyprus Stop Trafficking group sent an open letter to the government, including the president and his cabinet as well as members of parliament, asking them to do more to help individuals and families who seek asylum in Cyprus.
According to the group, asylum applicants find it very difficult to find cheap accommodation due to very low subsidies by the government. As a result, many people who cannot find a place to live with €100 end up camping out in the open at the Nicosia Municipal Gardens.
“We are tired of searching for apartments in the €200 per month range to house asylum-seeking families with three children, buying baby diapers and paying out of pocket just to pay utility bills,” the group wrote.
Many applicants who cannot find a place to live with €100 end up camping out in the open at the Nicosia Municipal Gardens
The letter, signed by Androulla Christofidou Henriques who is the president of the organisation, also made reference to the economic crisis of 2013, saying the economy is stronger in 2018 but asylum applicants still live in appalling conditions.
“Fortunately conditions got better but the rules back then now seem racist and inhuman because they force asylum applicants to live in unacceptable conditions,” she said.
CST also appealed directly in a separate letter to the head of the human rights House committee, Stella Kyriakidou, urging her to move forward with an effective plan to address the problems, reiterating that the subsidies voted back in 2013 were now “totally insufficient.”