|The protection of human rights in the Republic of Cyprus is mainly based on international human rights treaties. More precisely, Part II of the Constitution of the Republic sets out the Fundamental Rights and Liberties, by incorporating verbatim and in some instances expanding upon, the rights and freedoms of the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms. |
The Fundamental Rights and Liberties of Part II of the Constitution, are expressly guaranteed to “everyone” or to “all persons” or to “every person”, without any distinction or differentiation between citizens and non-citizens of the Republic, or between citizens of the Republic who belong to the Greek and Turkish communities, and without any distinction or differentiation on grounds of religion, or nationality or on other grounds.
Article 35 of the Constitution, imposes on the executive, legislative and judiciary, a duty to secure within the limits of their competence, the efficient application of the provisions of the Constitution setting out the said Fundamental Rights and Liberties. Article 179.3 obliges the legislative, executive and administrative authorities of the Republic, not to enact laws, or issue acts or decisions, which are in any way repugnant to, or inconsistent with, any of the provisions of the Constitution, including the human rights provisions thereto.
The Republic of Cyprus has signed or ratified most international and regional legal instruments in the field of human rights, which cover not only individual civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights, but also rights in the field of protection and respect of minorities and combating racism. The Republic is bound by a large number of multilateral human rights conventions, which were ratified either by law enacted by the House of Representatives (Article 169.2 of the Constitution) or under the doctrine of succession in respect to those international documents which were binding on Cyprus before it was declared a Republic (Section 8 of the Treaty of Establishment)
According to the express provisions of Article 169.3 of the Constitution of the Republic of Cyprus, all international legal instruments are, by virtue of their ratification by the Republic of Cyprus and publication thereof in the Official Gazette of the Republic, incorporated into the Republic’s municipal law, and are, as from the date of their publication, of superior force to any municipal law. Therefore, the significance of such international legal instruments is of paramount importance with regard to existing as well as to future legislation, since the latter must be in conformity with the provisions of the undertaken by the Republic of Cyprus international obligations.
The Republic of Cyprus has, inter alia, signed, ratified, acceded or succeeded to the following, international or regional human rights legal instruments:
· The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (Ratification Law 14/69) and the First and Second Optional Protocols to it (Ratification Laws 17(III)/92 and 12(III)/99, respectively)
· The International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (Ratification Law 14/69)
· The European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (Ratification Law 39/62) and all its Additional Protocols
· The European Social Charter (Ratification Law 64/67, as amended by Laws 5/75, 3/88, 203/91 and 10(III)/00) and the Optional Protocol thereof (Ratification Law 9(III)/00)
· The Revised European Social Charter (Ratification Law 27(III)/00)
· The International Convention on the Elimination of All forms of Racial Discrimination (Ratification Law 12/67, as amended by Laws 11/92, 6(III)/95 and 28(III)/99)
· The Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (Ratification Law 235/90)
· The European Convention on the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment and Punishment (Ratification Law 24/89)
· UN Convention on the Political Rights of Women (Ratification Law 107/68)
· The UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (Ratification Law 78/85) and the Optional Protocol thereof (Ratification Law 1(III)/02
· UN Convention on the Nationality of Married Women (succession by the Republic of Cyprus on 26 April 1971)
· The UN Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide (Ratification Law 59/80)
· The ILO Conventions No. 111, 97 and 143 on Discrimination (Employment and Occupation) (Ratification Law 3/68), on Migration for Employment (Revised) (ratified by the United Kingdom Government before independence and extended to Cyprus. After independence the Republic of Cyprus notified, on 23.09.60, that it considers itself bound by the Convention), and on Migrant Workers (Supplementary Provisions) (Ratification Law 36/77), respectively.
· The Geneva Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees (ratified by the United Kingdom Government and extended to Cyprus in 1956. After independence the Republic of Cyprus notified, on 16.05.63, the Secretary General of the UN that it considers itself bound by the said Convention) and its Protocol (Ratification Law 73/68)
· The UN Slavery Convention and the amending Protocol thereto (The Republic of Cyprus has submitted a notification of succession on 24.06.86)
· The Framework Convention on the Status of National Minorities (Ratification Law 28(III)/94)
· The European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages (Ratification Law 39(III)/93)
· The European Cultural Convention (Ratification Law 48/68)
· The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and the Amendment thereto (Ratification Laws 243/90 and 5(III)/00, respectively)
· The Convention on the Protection of Children and Cooperation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption (Ratification Law 26(III)/94)
· The European Convention on Recognition and Enforcement of Decisions concerning Custody of Children and on Restoration of Custody of Children (Ratification Law 36/86)
· The Convention concerning the Prohibition and Immediate Action for the Elimination of the Worst Forms of Child Labour (Ratification Law 31(III)/00)
· The Convention on Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction (Ratification Law 11(III)/94)
· The European Convention on the Legal Status of Children Born Out of Wedlock (Ratification Law 50/79)
· International Agreement for the Suppression of the White Slave Traffic as Amended by the Protocol thereto (succession by the Republic of Cyprus on 16 May 1963)
· The Convention for the Suppression of the Traffic in Persons and of the Exploitation of the Prostitution of Others (Ratification Law 57/83)
Source: Ministrty of Foreign affairs