Attention: Local Cyprus & International Press/Cyprus Presidency/Cyprus Police Departments/Cyprus Authorities:
Author: Journalist: Janice Ruffle
CYPRUS MIGRANT COMMUNITY APPEAL
“Time To Give Back”
“It’s time for all forces – Government departments, Life Coaches, Counsellors, Therapists to join forces and volunteer professional help to the victims’ families and friends of the recent horrific Migrant sector murders in Cyprus. There will never be an understanding or justification, and I doubt appropriate justice, but comfort and support are required to this vulnerable sector of a fine and proud community in Cyprus – “Migrant”.
WED: Women’s Entrepreneurship Day Cyprus 2019 will support “Migrant Women”. Let’s unite forces,” says Activist Journalist and WED: Women’s Entrepreneurship Day elected Cyprus Global Ambassador, Janice Ruffle.
Cyprus’ Police Negligence.
Referring to the serial killings of Cyprus’s first ‘serial killer’ Greek army officer named locally as Nicos Metaxas, Greek Cypriot attorney Yiannis Ioannou in a press statement, quoted:
“The negligence and baffling unprofessionalism of police officers have been obvious”.
Police and Government Departments – closed ears.
In a national press published article in 2017 (Cyprus Weekly), by Ruffle, the following facts were revealed for the first time in Cyprus to closed ears of police and government officials, although the public reacted supportively on Social Media.
Does Cyprus practice slave labour?
For years, Filipina, Sri Lankan and Vietnamese women have been a status symbol in Cypriot homes. Working six days a week, often for very long hours, in exchange for room, board and an average monthly income of €330.
A system open to the exploitation of human-rights, vulnerability and imposed poverty.
Most of them stay in the country for several years on a domestic worker’s visa known as “Kafala System”. It’s a restrictive kind of permit that ties them to specific employers.
The Kafala System, meaning “sponsorship system”, is used to monitor migrant labourers, working primarily in the construction and domestic sectors. Principally, the system requires all unskilled labourers to have an in-country sponsor, usually their employer, who is responsible for their visa and legal status
It’s a management system which controls migrant workers. It effectively renders labourers the property of another human being: their employer.
This practice has been criticised by human rights organisations for creating easy opportunities for the exploitation of workers. Many employers take away passports and abuse their workers with little chance of legal repercussions.
It’s not that I disagree with conforming to reasonable employment regulations, but can you imagine being beholden – in the true sense of the term – to your employer who sponsors your visa and retains your formal documentation? It’s a violation of freedom.
In this case, a more appropriate term would be “slave system” – completely open to abuse and against all human rights policies.
As Cyprus is an EU state, why are they not operating within EU laws and practises related to EU employment rights?
Moreover, the standard employment contract, prepared by the Migration Department in Cyprus, lays out wages, duties and rights, and prohibits the joining of trade unions or other protection organisations.
Foreign domestic workers are normally aided by private employment agencies sourced from their country of origin. The agency should, but often doesn’t, act as intermediates with the employer – often at a very high fee imposed on the migrant worker.
Gaps and Loopholes.
Cyprus seems to be contradicting its own efforts. Its migration scheme appears in many ways susceptible to misuse.
Under this system, workers stories about exploitation and abuse are indeed not uncommon. In many respects Cyprus’s case brings to the fore existing gaps and loopholes.
The result is, employers can abuse employee’s common rights, and it’s permissible under this system.
As Doros Polykarpou, who works with KISA, an NGO offering support to migrant workers spells out: “Many of the problems these people face is that they often provide for their family in their own countries. They are not able to leave the island despite the difficulties, and therefore willing to accept any condition.”
So when will Cyprus choose to treat domestic migrant workers as human beings? Probably not until the real victims, terrified to speak out, unite efforts.
Cyprus Migrant Sector Appeal.
By combined efforts and with the compassionate support of Derek Lainsbury, Ruffle will launch a network of volunteers, supporters and financial aid donations for the Migrant Sector in Cyprus.
Lainsbury quotes: “What a great initiative. I was employed by Nanny Canada placing nannies and caregivers for the elderly at the end of their contracts in Cyprus and also worked with Freedom dolls initiative aka FDI, and in the Netherlands, I worked with war crimes for the former Yugoslavia tribunal and Europol. I’d be happy to offer my services to assist you in the great work you are doing. My phone number is 00357-99877769,” Derek Lainsbury MRPS, MRACP. Registered Counsellor and Psychotherapist.”
Please join us with our efforts for Cyprus Migrant Community Appeal:
Janice Ruffle Campaign Administrator/Treasurer of Financial Donations:
00357-99987672 Email: [email protected]
Derek Lainsbury Campaign Spokesperson/Partner
00357-99877769 Profile: https://www.linkedin.com/in/derek-lainsbury-72404233
Migrant Help ‘Empowerment with Compassion’– UK Vision.
“Will Cyprus learn and follow these endeavours or once again brush under the rug?” states Ruffle.
Migrant Help was founded in 1963 by Helen Ellis (MBE) and was originally known as the ‘Kent Committee for the Welfare of Migrants’ (KCWM). Helen, a leading figure in the provision of welfare support to migrants, established our charity to give support to the high number of distressed migrants arriving at the Channel Ports. At that time there were roughly 77 million migrants in the world, a figure which more than tripled to 244 million in 2016. Over the last 50 years, we have developed projects and services based on our core vision of supporting, respecting and protecting vulnerable migrants in the UK.
In the 1990s, events around the world prompted an increase in the number of people seeking asylum. In 1994 we received a significant grant from the Home Office to deliver support services to newly arrived asylum seekers and refugees. Shortly after, the working name ‘Migrant Helpline’ was assumed.
In the new millennium, we proactively worked towards expanding our advice and support services. We established our first Induction Centre in 2002. Here, we delivered briefings to asylum seekers about their rights and responsibilities, and the asylum process. Our operation quickly expanded to London and we opened a reception service for asylum seekers in Croydon. We also began to manage the London accommodation centre for newly arrived asylum seekers, known as ‘Emergency Initial Accommodation’. Alongside expanding our services, we established a number of projects to help new refugees integrate into life in the UK.
We continue to create new services where and when they are needed. In 2008, the ‘United Kingdom Human Trafficking Centre’ approached us to provide support for victims of labour exploitation. Our ‘Victims of Slavery Support Service’ team was established and they continue to support victims of modern slavery across the UK. This work is vital as there are more slaves in the world today than at any other time in history.
Throughout our existence, we have also provided community engagement services. These included EU migrant advice services in Kent and East of England, foreign national prisoner and immigration detention centre advice sessions and multi-faith pastoral care.
Clear Voice, our trading arm, was established in 2008 to provide high quality, cost-effective and socially aware language services. Their profit comes back to us and goes towards supporting the continuation of our charitable services.
In 2010 we adopted our name, Migrant Help.
We started delivering government funded advice and support to asylum seekers across the UK in 2014. This service is delivered through our offices across the UK and our free national telephone helpline (0808 8000 630). Every year we assist tens of thousands of asylum seekers.