Heidi Trautmann

1b - KISA - a NGO against racisim and discrimenaton ....in Cyprus


KISA is a non-governmental organisation (NGO), established in 1998, as a result of the concern about the conditions of entry, stay and employment of migrants, the lack of a comprehensive migration policy and the ever-growing incidents of xenophobia, discrimination and racism in Cyprus.

A country which has in the last two decades been turned, without in essence any preparation and suitable structures, mechanisms and policies, from an emigration to an immigration country,a large part of its human resources and population in general being non-cypriot.

KISA's overall goal and long-term objective is the creation of an all inclusive, multicultural society, free of racism, xenophobia and discrimination and where through the interaction and mutual respect of different cultures there will be equality of all, irrespective of nationality or ethnicity, colour, creed or gender, sexual preference or any other characteristic.

Main fields of work and activities

In achieving its aims and objectives, KISA focuses its activities, in all of the main fields of its work – Migration, Asylum, Racism, Discrimination, and Trafficking, on two general directions and target groups: (a) Migrants, refugees and asylum seekers, and (b) the Cypriot society at large. These activities encompass the following:

A.    Operation of a support system for providing free legal and social services, support, guidance and advice to migrants, refugees and asylum seekers, in order to:

Safeguard the respect of their rights and deal with violations of these rights, both in the private and the public sectors.

Empower them to claim their rights and facilitate their integration and full participation in society, through the encouragement and support of migrant, refugee and asylum seeker communities to set up their own organisations and promote their autonomy.

In the framework of supporting migrants, refugees and asylum seekers, KISA is currently running the Migrant and Refugee Centre at its premises in Nicosia, which offers free information, social advice and support as well as mediation services. The Centre is partly funded by European programmes, such as the ERF and EQUAL. With two new ERF projects starting this year, the Centre in Nicosia will also provide legal and psychological services to asylum seekers and will set up a similar Centre in Limassol. The Centres will also address the needs of asylum seekers in Larnaca and Paphos.

KISA has also set up the Internet and Call Centre, which is part of the Multicultural Centre, a larger project in the process of being set up, which will function as a meeting point of people and cultures, with art exhibitions, discussions, music and food and which also include an Ethnic Café.

B.    Social intervention in order to sensitise the Cypriot society and raise awareness about the phenomena of social exclusion, xenophobia, discrimination, racism, trafficking and the benefits of a multicultural society.

C.    Reform of the immigration and asylum framework in Cyprus, which includes legislation, policies and practices.

To this effect, KISA organises campaigns, conferences, seminars and workshops, cultural events, provision of information, publications, media reports and articles, press conferences, etc. Such activities include the following:

The annual Action Week Against Racism for the International Day Against Racism on 21st March

The annual Refugee Campaign for the International Refugee Day on 20th June

The Integration of Migrants Campaign, recent activities for which are:

The transposition in Cyprus of EU Directives 2003/109/EC and 2003/86/EC concerning the status of third-country nationals who are long-term residents and the right to family reunification.

A Workshop on the integration of children of migrants, with emphasis on education

A Workshop on the integration of migrants – long term residence

The annual Rainbow Festival, an anti-racist, multicultural event, with music, dance and food from various countries, children’s section, discussions, stands of Cypriot cultural organisations, both Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot, and of organisations of the migrant, refugee and asylum seekers communities, etc.

Working Groups, with KISA Steering Committee members and volunteers, on Trafficking, Education and Antiracism, and Youth. Activities in these areas include the following:

Set up of Anti-trafficking Network, with other NGOs

Public awareness raising campaign against trafficking

Antiracism-antidiscrimination course for schools

Summer camps, seminars and sports events for youth

KISA also cooperates with state and independent agencies in the course of reporting cases of discrimination, racist behaviour, violation of rights, and corruption, and it lobbies the authorities – the government, including the police, the House of Parliament, the mass media, employers, trade unions, the Ombudsman, the Attorney General.

National and international relations and cooperation

In promoting its objectives and carrying out its activities, KISA develops and maintains excellent relations and cooperation with many local, European and international organisations, NGOs, institutions and networks, which are active in the areas of migration, asylum, racism, human rights, etc, including ECRI (European Commission against Racism and Intolerance of the Council of Europe), OHCHR (European High Commission for Human Rights of the Council of Europe), OSCE (Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe), ENAR (European Network Against Racism), UNITED (European NGO with more than 550 member organisations from all European countries) .


KISA is governed by the Annual General Meeting, which elects the Steering Committee, which in turn elects amongst its members the Coordinating Committee.

For further information please check with KISA in the internet; you will find plenty of information on this association and their work.


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