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Cyprus Refugee Council: Providing ATD for people in asylum and migration procedures

Cyprus Refugee Council

The organisation

The Cyprus Refugee Council (CyRC), is an independent, non-profit organisation, established in 2017 as the evolution of the Humanitarian Affairs Unit of the NGO Future Worlds Center. CyRC’s team is made up of dedicated professionals with extensive experience working directly with refugees, asylum seekers, detainees, trafficking victims, survivors of torture and people in an irregular migration situation. The organisation has as its mission to safeguard, support and advocate for the rights of vulnerable groups in Cyprus, promoting their effective integration and working closely with local communities in order to provide quality services.

CyRC utilises an inter-disciplinary approach to provide individualised legal, social and psychological support to people on the move in Cyprus, with the aim to ensure access to rights, integration into the local communities, and improved wellbeing.

The pilot & main goals

The main objectives of CyRC’s ATD pilot are to reduce immigration detention, promote engagement-based ATD, and contribute to the growing evidence and momentum on ATD at a national and regional level. The team provides individualised case management-based support to people in detention or at risk of detention including people in the asylum process, people with irregular immigration status, and those with barriers to return. The approach is based on holistic support that encourages trust and supports engagement with the immigration system, working towards case resolution in the community. CyRC provides social counselling, mediation with the authorities, psychological support, legal advice, and referral to other organisations/services to cover people’s basic needs.

In addition, CyRC’s “advocacy through doing” approach involves advocating with the authorities on individual cases in order to highlight the benefits of engagement-based ATD more generally. This is facilitated by using evidence derived from case management, highlighting good practices or policies for specific groups, maintaining alliances with civil society organisations and other independent bodies, and highlighting systemic gaps and the ineffectiveness of enforcement-based approaches.


To read more about the ATD pilot in Cyprus click here.

To read the evaluation report for the first 2-year phase of CyRC’s ATD pilot, click here.