In 2008, six bicommunal Technical Committees were established by the Greek Cypriot (GC) and Turkish Cypriot (TC) community leaders to ‘address issues that affect the day-to-day life of people, through encouraging and facilitating greater interaction and understanding between the two communities’; since then, six more Technical Committees have been added to the list. There are currently 12 bicommunal Technical Committees, which are unique mechanisms run under UN auspices, operated by Greek and Turkish Cypriots, to address the shared challenges and aims for Cyprus.
'Inclusive Peacebuilding: The Technical Committees in Cyprus' (InPeace), a research project funded by the EU, began its activities in March 2023. InPeace aims to generate knowledge, and draw lessons relating to, the operation and effectiveness of the bicommunal Technical Committees. The Technical Committees' effectiveness in addressing day-to-day issues and their performance with regard to issues like good governance, human rights, gender equality, and youth empowerment will be assessed. Methodologically, this will be done through theoretical research, a series of interviews and focus groups, and the use of questionnaires. After completing the academic research, the project shall also have activities with civil society organisations (CSOs) in Cyprus, to disseminate information concerning the research results and enhance their capacity to better engage with the Technical Committees. The research results will also be disseminated through activities with other relevant stakeholders and biannual newsletters.
Background of the partner organisations:
ICLAIM was created in 2017 with the aims of fostering social dialogue and the rule of law through education and training, and enhancing active citizenship. Among its key objectives is ‘to support socio-legal research and impact beyond academia, making a notable difference in society’. As a result of its work on social mediation, ICLAIM has received the European Citizen Prize 2020 from the European Parliament. ICLAIM has been focusing on research that could contribute to cooperation between the two sides, address significant human rights issues and support the peace-building efforts on the island. It has implemented projects on social mediation, good governance, human rights education, smuggling, human trafficking, and the environment. ICLAIM experts have been involved in human rights and peacebuilding research in the Cyprus context.
Human Rights Platform was established in 2021 as a result of the joint efforts of five leading human rights organisations in the Turkish Cypriot community, namely Queer Cyprus Association, Refugee Rights Association, Civil Society Initiative, Turkish Cypriot Human Rights Foundation, and Universal Patient Rights Association. Since then, two more organisations, the Third Community Forum and the Think Positive Initiative, have joined the Platform. The Human Rights Platform has an objective to ‘contribute to developing a more just, equitable, democratic, and inclusive society where human rights are not only respected but cherished’. For this purpose, its activities, which are funded by the EU, cover human rights monitoring, legal aid, human rights education, capacity building, awareness raising, and lobbying.