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Non governmental organisations whose principal objectives relate to opposing/undermining racism and racist activity

Key Area:
Anti-racist Policies & Organisations
13/01/2012 - 11:37
Short Answer


Qualitative Info

KISA ( is the only organisation exclusively concerned with supporting migrants victims of discrimination or violence. In recent months, budgetary restrictions have forced them to cut down on services provided, but it still remains the only NGO that can support victims of racial violence. Its work spans the whole of Cyprus, the small size of which renders the differentiation between national/local rather meaningless. Its activities include interventions with the employer (if the issue concerns employment), the police and the Ministry of Interior and regularly publishes press releases and files complaints with the Equality Body on issues concerning racist or discriminatory practices. They also have a regular street presence, with street protests and an annual anti-racist festival. In 2010 the said festival was attacked by fascist groups who were participating in a nearby anti-immigration march. Rather than pressing charges against the assailants, the police pressed charges against KISA's president for breach of peace. The trial is still continuing. This is not the first time that members of KISA's governing board are sued by the authorities, the first one concerning allegedly unlawful street collection of money. KISA believes that the lawsuits are used by the authorities in an effort to undermine and curtail KISA' pro-immigrant activity.

Other organisations provide support to migrant victims but not as their exclusive aim. The Future Worlds Centre ( opreates on a UNHCR grant and supports asylum seekers with their asylum application  but will also intervene with the police and the authorities whenever an asylum seeker falls victim to racist or discriminatory practices. Future Worlds also runs a centre for the rehabilitation of the victims of torture.

Symifiosi ( is more research-based and its research focus is anti-racism and immigration. It will also assist victims of racial violence applying to it for assistance (by filing complaints to the equality body, police, Interior Ministry etc), although it does not run support services. Same applies to MIGS (the initials stand for Mediterraean Institute for Gender Studies - whose mandate is restricted to women including migrant women. They have more invovlement in  conferencing, awareness raising  and research rather than in victim support.

There is no NGO supporting Turkish Cypriot victims of racial violence. Victim support is generally an area that has little or no funding, as state funding is meagre and even EU funds are geared towards integration activities (EQUAL, ERF, INTI etc) rather than victim support. 


Groups affected/interested Migrants, Refugees, Asylum seekers
Type (R/D) Extremism - organised Racist Violence, Nationalism
Key socio-economic / Institutional Areas Policing - law enforcement, Anti-racism
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