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EACEA National Policies Platform


4. Social Inclusion

4.1 General context

Last update: 24 March 2022
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  1. Main challenges to social inclusion
  2. Main concepts

Main challenges to social inclusion

There are different challenges when it comes to social inclusion on young people in Cyprus. According to the Poverty and Social Exclusion Survey conducted by the Statistical Service in 2020 in Cyprus, the risk-of-poverty is 21.3, while the risk-of-poverty rate for children 0-17 years old is 16.1. [Risk-of-poverty rate is the share of persons with an equivalent disposable income (after social transfer) below the risk-of-poverty threshold. It measures relative poverty and not absolute poverty]. Also, it has to be underlined the fact that girls are more likely (22.2%) to be in a situation of poverty and social exclusion compared to boys (20.2%). The percentage of the population living in households with very low work intensity is in total 6.8%. at the same time, the percentage of population which cannot afford to pay at least 4 out of the 9 material deprivation items (having thus severe material deprivation) is 9.1%. Last, the same study reveals that the Risk-of-poverty or social exclusion rate for adults is for Nationals at 19.8%, for EU28 Foreigners at 26.7% and for non-EU28 Foreigners at 36,9%.

Moreover, the Demographic Statistics 2019 of the Statistical Service counts that in 2014, 9.212 immigrants arrived to Cyprus, 15.183 immigrants in 2015, 17.391 in 2016, 21.306 in 2017, 23.442 in 2018 and 26.710 in 2019. Also, it is important to state that the Census of Population and Housing 2021 is still running (October 2021 – April 2022) and the first results are expected to be announced in January 2022.

As said in the National Programme for the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund, Cyprus is exposed to high flows of potential beneficiaries of international protection. Statistics show that these have been constant over the past years and, based on the instability of the region, they will continue until 2020. The number of asylum applications in 2013 was 1246 (994 cases) and 1728 (1373 cases) in 2014 (38% increase). By April 2015 the number of asylum seekers pending before the Asylum Service (AS) was 1652 persons. In 2019, the country also received 13,259 applications while in 2020 there were 7,094 new applications for asylum as described by the Cyprus Refugee Council in the report “Overview of statistical practice”. In addition to that, according to the Education and Training MONITOR 2019- Cyprus Report, 7765 new asylum applications were lodged, among them 1090 applications by people under 18 years old.

Lastly, according to the UNHCR report regarding “The Integration of Refugees in Cyprus: Social Inclusion and Discrimination”, “discrimination is inextricably linked to lack of acceptance of diversity, which was acknowledged as a major obstacle to social inclusion…in incidents occurred at work and school”.

Main concepts

There is no national definition of social inclusion. However, the main concepts associated to social inclusion, as stated in the Strategy for Social Policy 2014-2020 prepared by the Social Welfare Services of the Ministry of Labour, Welfare and Social Insurance are unemployment, poverty, health, education and housing.