Migrants need to be integrated says ministry

THIRD country nationals are hampered by language problems, difficulties in accessing health services and racism, a report showed yesterday.

The report by Marketway and Pulse Market Research was compiled on behalf of the Interior Ministry’s civil registry and migration department and was co-funded by the European Union’s Integration Fund.

Around 1,000 legally employed migrants were interviewed from across the island.

Most come from the Philippines, Sri Lanka and Vietnam with about 70 per cent of those interviewed being women.

The study aimed to locate vulnerable groups, define their unmet needs and suggest ways to integrate migrants in Cypriot society.

About a third of those asked reported wanting better government services.

Other recurring suggestions were participation in social insurance funds, job flexibility, more benefits, language lessons and medical support.

The researchers suggested language lessons, and the participation of migrants in decisions on migration policy.

“For many years it was considered that efforts to integrate [migrants] in Cypriot society were useless and perhaps redundant,” the Migration Department’s Christos Platrites said yesterday.

But we are moving towards “one and only direction,” Platrides said, that of an EU-harmonised Cyprus needing “to take all necessary measures to integrate legal migrants.”