Cyprus has implemented a strategy to manage the asylum influx by reducing new arrivals, expediting asylum procedures, improving reception conditions, and increasing returns of nonqualifying individuals. Efforts to counter misinformation and trafficking networks have led to a decrease in arrivals and applications, providing hope for the small island nation in the face of unprecedented challenges.
The recent discovery of a male body off Cyprus’ coast highlights a tragic trend linked to the Syrian civil war and human rights violations in the region. These repeated maritime tragedies underscore the urgent need for effective asylum legislation and the dangers faced by individuals seeking refuge.
Recent data from the interior ministry shows a surge in Syrian refugee applications, increasing from 318 to 1,125 yearoveryear, while applications from African countries like Nigeria, DRC, and Cameroon have significantly dropped. Overall, new applications have halved from 17,065 to 9,091, indicating stricter migration measures and a change in the countries of origin.
In a recent development, Cyprus has seen a dramatic 75% drop in the number of African asylum seekers. This significant decrease is attributed to a series of strategic measures implemented by the country’s government, including a targeted social media campaign, international cooperation with countries like Nigeria and Lebanon, and discussions on regional stability and safe zones to manage migration flows and promote legal pathways.
Cyprus leads the EU in asylum applications relative to its population, with asylum seekers constituting 5% of the overall population. Despite the challenges posed by this influx, Cyprus is actively upgrading reception facilities and implementing integration strategies, including educational and vocational training programs, to ensure the seamless inclusion of refugees into Cypriot society.
Cyprus is calling for increased repatriation of rejected asylum seekers at the EU Assembly, with Interior Minister Constantinos Ioannou emphasizing the importance of enhancing return rates and promoting legal migration channels. Recent efforts by Cyprus have already led to a 60% surge in departures compared to the previous year, solidifying its position as a leader in return numbers among EU countries.