The Minister of Labour and Social Security, Dr. Koral Çağman announced on 13th of February, that material assistance, in the form of food and hygiene items, would be provided to individuals in need. The Minister emphasized that individuals with specific vulnerabilities will be able to benefit from this assistance, irrespective of their citizenship or residency status. Furthermore, the social risk groups that are hit hardest by the pandemic are identified as workers ,who lost their jobs and /or became irregular/undocumented workers, single parents, elderly, persons with disabilities, survivors of domestic violence, LGBTI+s and international students.
We would like to indicate that such a decision that recognises identification of risk groups and provision of assistance to irrespective of immigration status is a precondition for, especially vulnerable individuals’, access to basic necessities is significant with regards to the human rights obligations. We hope that this step taken by the Ministry of Labour and Social Security leads to formation of necessary mechanisms with a view to provide social support to persons with such vulnerabilities regularly. It shall not be forgotten that the situation of groups, whose access to rights is restricted and, who are in immediate need of welfare assistance, needs to be examined by all relevant public institutions and all necessary measures must be adopted. These measures at a minimum have to include adoption of laws, budgeting, Ministerial activities, provision of public services. In this context, we reiterate our willingness to cooperate with the Ministry of Labour and Social Security as well as all other public institutions.
Refugee Rights Associaton
Queer Cyprus Association
Press Release on Food Aid