Migration has undoubtedly become the megatrend of our century. The rise in importance of the topic of migration on the global agenda especially in the current context of migratory pressures to Europe has led the Government of the Republic of Cyprus to support the IOM office with its establishment and operations in the field.
The voluntary contribution to operations in the field co-funded by the Ministry of Interior and IOM consists of capacity building activities, awareness raising and outreach activities as well as office refurbishment and maintenance.
Some of the highlights which have led to the office becoming operational in the field were the IOM Deputy Director General address Ambassador Laura Thompson at a European Year for Development lecture and the official opening of the office in Nicosia on 9 November 2015. Following the inauguration of the IOM office in Cyprus, IOM is working closely with the Ministry of Interior to address migration issues of common concern.
As part of expertise sharing and support with the Government of the Republic of Cyprus, exchange visits are organized with Ministry of Interior staff aiming at programming joint actions in the areas of combatting trafficking in human beings as well as research and information provision on migration.
In order to capitalize on giving government greater visibility on its priority areas in the field of migration, IOM produces, displays and disseminates tailored material including informative leaflets, publications and press releases on specific themes and topics.
In two consecutive years, IOM has participated locally in the global “UN Together” campaign which was launched at the UN Refugees and Migrants Summit. The UN Together campaign aims at changing negative perceptions and attitudes towards refugees and migrants and strengthening the social contract between host countries and communities with refugees and migrants.
On 18 December 2016 in collaboration with the Ministry of Interior and to mark the International Migrant’s Day a first local screening was organized in Cyprus showcasing “Wallah je te jure”, a documentary telling a story about men and women travelling along the migrant route from West Africa to Europe. With many participants attending the event, including Ambassadors, government officials, NGO representatives and the general public, the film festival was marked with success.
In June 2017, IOM Cyprus joined forces with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Cyprus, the UNHCR and non-governmental organizations and organised a film festival to mark the World Refugee Day. IOM Cyprus participated with the movie “4.1 miles” by Daphne Matziaraki. The documentary is telling a story about a coastguard on a Greek island who is suddenly charged with saving refugees from drowning at sea. This event was organized as part of the Global Migration Film Festival 2017.