Summary: This report extracts mentions of children's rights issues in the reports of all UN Treaty Bodies and their follow-up procedures. This does not include the Concluding Observations of the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child which are available here: http://www.crin.org/resources/treaties/index.asp
- UN Human Rights Committee
- UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights
- UN Committee against Torture
- Subcommittee on Prevention of Torture
- UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women
- UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination
- UN Committee on Migrant Workers
- UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
- UN Committee on Enforced Disappearance
Last reported: 19 and 20 March 2015
Concluding Observations adopted: 30 April 2015
Discrimination on the basis of nationality: The Committee is concerned about reports that the nationality laws are applied in a discriminatory manner in relation to individuals from particular groups, particularly children of Turkish Cypriots and persons of South-East Asian origin, and that members of the latter group encounter obstacles in attaining Cypriot citizenship, despite meeting the legal requirements to acquire it (arts. 2 and 26).The State party should take adequate measures to ensure that the nationality laws are applied indiscriminately on the basis of clearly defined criteria. It should ensure that applicants have access to information concerning the requirements of citizenship and that they receive a decision on their application for citizenship within a reasonable period of time. (Paragraph 6)
Racial discrimination: Despite the efforts taken by the State party to combat racial discrimination, the Committee is concerned ... that members of the Roma community still face de facto discrimination and social exclusion in the areas of housing, education and employment (arts. 2, 20 and 26).The State party should strengthen its efforts to eradicate racial discrimination against Turkish Cypriots, Roma and other minorities by, inter alia, conducting public awareness-raising campaigns to promote tolerance and respect for diversity... (Paragraph 7)
Internally displaced persons: While welcoming the State party’s decision to recognize children of women who have been internally displaced, the Committee remains concerned that the amendment applies only to certain housing schemes and benefits and does not give such children access to the same rights as children of internally displaced men, in particular the right to participate in elections in due course (arts. 2, 3, 25 and 26). The State party should amend its legislation to ensure that children of women who have been internally displaced have the same benefits as children of internally displaced men, without any kind of distinction. (Paragraph 9)
Detention of migrants and asylum seekers: While the Committee welcomes the measures taken by the State party to prevent the detention of migrants and asylum seekers, it remains concerned that large numbers of migrants and asylum seekers, including women who have been separated from their young children, continue to be detained for lengthy periods of time while awaiting deportation. It is also concerned that asylum seekers are unable to obtain access to legal advice during all administrative stages of the refugee status determination process (arts. 9 and 13). The State party should: (a) Ensure that persons awaiting deportation are detained for the shortest period of time necessary, in accordance with the standards set out in the Committee’s general comment No. 35 (2014) on liberty and security of person, and that mothers with young children are not detained, unless in very exceptional circumstances; (b) Adopt alternatives to detaining migrants and asylum seekers whenever possible; (c) Consider amending the Refugee Law and the Legal Aid Law in order to guarantee access, in appropriate cases, to legal advice throughout all stages of the asylum process. (Para 14) (Paragraph 14)
Conditions of detention and violence in prison: While noting efforts made by the State party to reduce overcrowding and improve conditions of detention, the Committee remains concerned at reports of inter-prisoner violence, including gang rape, the use of solitary confinement for excessive periods of time and of minors and migrants not always being segregated from the rest of the detained population (arts. 6, 7 and 10). The State party should continue to strengthen its efforts to improve detention conditions by taking practical measures to, inter alia: (a) Reduce overcrowding, particularly through the introduction of alternatives to detention; (b) Prevent incidents of inter-prisoner violence, including through the implementation of effective monitoring mechanisms and training of prison staff on identifying persons vulnerable to inter-prisoner abuse; (c) Investigate incidents of inter-prison violence, especially those resulting in death, prosecute and punish those responsible with sanctions commensurate with the crime and compensate victims. (Paragraph 15)
Juvenile justice system: While noting the progress made by the State party with regard to the newly proposed juvenile justice system, the Committee is concerned at the State party’s failure to take immediate measures towards the establishment of specialized courts for juveniles, the separation of all juveniles from adults in all places of detention and the effective protection of minors in the justice system (arts. 14 and 24).The State party should take measures to ensure that juveniles are treated in a manner commensurate with their age, specific needs and vulnerabilities, that juvenile offenders are tried before a specialized court for juveniles and are separated from adults in detention facilities. It should also ensure the provision of alternatives to imprisonment as the primary course of action for juveniles and that juvenile offenders are detained only as a last resort and for as short a period of time as possible. Finally, the State party should ensure that its new juvenile justice system upholds the rights set forth in the Covenant with the primary aim of rehabilitation and reintegration into society of juvenile offenders. (Paragraph 20)
Last reported: 24 March 1998
Concluding Observations published: 3 April 1998
Minimum ages: The Committee is concerned that the age criminal responsibility is still fixed at seven years, and that marriageable age is defined as the onset of puberty. The Committee further reaffirms its position that corporal punishment is prohibited under the Covenant. (Paragraph 16)
Observations published: 7 October 2016
Legislative developments: The Committee further welcomes the ratification by the State party of: Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the involvement of children in armed conflict, 2010 (para 4).
Asylum-seekers: While noting the efforts made by the State party to improve the situation of asylum seekers, the Committee is concerned at: The inadequate conditions of, and services provided at, the reception centres for asylum seekers, particularly for women and children, and the use of the emergency facility for an extended period; The Committee recommends that the State party continue its efforts to: Ensure that all the specific needs of women, children and persons with disabilities are fully recognized in the policies and programmes concerning asylum-seekers (paras 15, 16).
Right to education: The Committee is concerned that the definition of inclusive education provided for in domestic laws is not fully compliant with international norms. It is also concerned that children with disabilities still face difficulties in participating in inclusive education owing to the insufficient level of reasonable accommodation provided to them. While welcoming the establishment of a mechanism of early identification of disabilities, it remains concerned that the mechanism is not effective in identifying and supporting children with disabilities at the earliest possible stage of development (para 41).
The Committee recommends that the State party review the legal definition of inclusive education with a view to bringing it in line with international norms. It also recommends that the State party step up its efforts to ensure that all children with disabilities are provided with reasonable accommodation to fully participate in inclusive education at all level of education. It further recommends that the State party to improve the mechanism of early identification of disabilities to ensure that children with disabilities get necessary support from the earliest possible stage of their development (para 42).
Last reported: 8 May 2009
Concluding Observations adopted: 18 May 2009
Discrimination: The Committee notes with regret that in spite of the 2002 law amendment, children of women with displaced person status are still not entitled to a Refugee Identity Card and are only entitled to a Certificate by Descent which does not enable them to access any benefits. (arts. 2, para. 2; and 9)
The Committee urges the Government to adopt effective measures to end the discriminatory treatment of children of women with displaced person status. (Paragraph 12)
Domestic violence: The Committee is concerned that domestic violence against women and children continues to be widespread in the State party and often goes unreported. (art.10)
The Committee urges the State party to adopt an effective strategy to combat domestic violence and to allocate the necessary human and financial resources for the implementation of this strategy. The Committee calls upon the State party to include in its next periodic report information on cases of domestic violence brought to justice and on the sanctions imposed. The Committee also urges the State party to ensure that specialised shelters for victims or those under risk of violence are made available in order to ensure their security as well as their physical and mental integrity. (Paragraph 19)
Education: The Committee is concerned about the still limited opportunities for Cypriot Turkish speaking children to receive instruction in their native language.(art.13)
The Committee urges the State party to take all appropriate measures to increase opportunities for Turkish Cypriot children to receive teaching in their mother tongue. The Committee also encourages the State party to strengthen its efforts to ensure that education in school meets the needs of a diverse society and revise school curricula to include a better understanding of the contribution of Cypriot's communities and minorities to the State party's history. (Paragraph 24)
Discrimination in education: The Committee expresses deep concern about the circular issued by the 2004 Ministry of Education which request all schools to report to immigration authorities the contact details of the parents of foreign children who enrol for school. The Committee considers that the 2004 circular gives rise to direct or indirect discrimination against migrant children and hinder their access to education. (art.13)
The Committee recalling its general comment No. 13 (1999) on the right to education according to which education must be accessible to all especially the most marginalised and disadvantaged groups, in law and in fact, without discrimination on any of the prohibited ground, calls upon the State party to consider withdrawing this circular. (Paragraph 25)
9 June 2009
Comments by the Government of Cyprus on the Concluding Observations (E/C.12/CYP/CO/5)
No mentions of children's rights
Last reported: 8-9 May 2014
Concluding Observations adopted: 21 May 2014
Asylum seekers and unaccompanied minors: The Committee notes with concern that asylum seekers and undocumented immigrants, including unaccompanied minors, can only have access to legal aid to challenge their deportation and detention orders if they are able to argue, before a legal aid judge of the Supreme Court, that they have good chances of success because of “blatant illegality” or “irreparable damage”. (paragraph 14)
The Committee recommends that the State Party amend the Refugee Law and the Law providing for the Provision of Legal Aid, in order to guarantee access to independent, qualified and free-of-charge legal assistance for asylum-seekers during the entire asylum procedure, as well as to undocumented immigrants, including unaccompanied minors, in addition to the appointment of a guardian, in order to challenge the lawfulness and duration of their deportation and detention orders.
Detention: The Committee notes with concern that detention is still being permitted in case the mother with minor children “refuses to cooperate” or during the age verification process of an unaccompanied minor. In both cases, the family or minor will be detained “in suitable establishments that will be created in due time with EU Solidarity Funds”. The Committee also notes with concern that children over the age of eight years can be forcibly separated from their parents and placed under the care of the Director of the Social Welfare Services. (paragraph 19)
The Committee recommends that the State party ensure that unaccompanied children, and families with children, are not detained except as a measure of last resort; after alternatives to detention have been duly examined and exhausted, and for as short a period as possible. The right of children not to be forcibly separated from their parents should be respected, no matter the age of the child. The State party in such instances should refrain from detaining unaccompanied children, and families with children, if there are no suitable places to host them. (paragraph 20)
Last reported: 15 and 18 November 2002
Concluding Observations published: 18 December 2002
No mentions of children's rights
Last Reported: 15 February 2013 Concluding Observations Issued: 25 March 2013
Issues raised and recommendations given:
Stereotypes: While recognizing the State party’s efforts to eliminate gender stereotypes, notably through its on-going educational reform, the Committee reiterates its concern (CEDAW/C/CYP/CO/5, para. 17) about the persistence of patriarchal attitudes and deep-rooted stereotypes regarding the roles and responsibilities of women and men in the family, in the workplace, in political and public life and in society at large. In particular, the Committee notes with concern that the prevalence of such stereotypes contributes to women’s disadvantaged position in the State party, in particular regarding their access to decision-making positions and elected office, and affects their educational and professional choices and ultimately their position in the labour market. (Para. 15)
The Committee recommends that the State party: (a) Adopt a comprehensive strategy, across all sectors, with a result-oriented approach to overcome stereotypical attitudes that discriminate against women in the family, education, the workplace, political and public life and in wider society; and (b) Develop awareness-raising and educational campaigns targeting women and men at all levels of society, including in the educational system as well as in public and private sectors, in collaboration with civil society and the media, including by promoting non-stereotypical and positive images of women’s active participation in social, economic and political life and by disseminating knowledge about the Convention and its concept of substantive gender equality. (Para. 16)
Domestic Violence: The Committee welcomes the State party’s efforts to combat domestic violence, in particular the adoption of a comprehensive legislative framework, the conduct of national research on the prevalence of domestic violence, and professional training provided to the police by the Police Domestic Violence and Child Abuse Office. However, the Committee remains concerned about the low number of investigations, prosecutions and convictions in cases of domestic violence, despite the high number of cases reported. The Committee is further concerned about the lack of information on the implementation of the National Action Plan on Prevention and Handling of Family Violence (2010–2013), the insufficient gender perspective and lack of inclusion of migrant women and ethnic minorities in the State party’s programmes and policies regarding domestic violence, as well as the limited assistance provided by the only shelter run by a non-governmental organization in the State party. The Committee further expresses concern about the limited data and information available on the incidence of other forms of violence. (Para. 17)
The Committee recommends that the State party: (a) Take effective measures to investigate reported acts of all forms of violence as well as prosecute and adequately punish perpetrators, including by providing mandatory training to judges, prosecutors and lawyers and providing legal aid to victims; (b) Effectively implement its National Action Plan on Prevention and Handling of Family Violence within a specified time frame and with sufficient budget allocation as well as systematically monitor its impact; (c) Enhance the data collection system to include all forms of violence against women, protection measures, prosecutions and sentences imposed on perpetrators, and conduct appropriate surveys to assess the prevalence of violence experienced by women, including migrant women and women belonging to ethnic minorities; (d) Provide adequate assistance and protection to women victims of violence, in particular social rehabilitation and an adequate number of shelters, including by strengthening its cooperation with and support to non-governmental organizations offering shelter and other forms of support to victims of domestic violence; and (e) Set a time frame for the ratification of the Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence. (Para. 18)
Trafficking: The Committee notes with satisfaction that the anti-trafficking legislation contains provisions for the identification and protection of victims and that a national referral mechanism for victims and a government-run shelter were established. However, the Committee is concerned about the low conviction rate for traffickers, whereas the number of identified trafficking victims is high, as well as the limited assistance provided to victims by the existing shelter and to those victims who are unable or unwilling to cooperate with the prosecution authorities. The Committee is also concerned about the prevalence of trafficking for the purpose of sexual and labour exploitation of migrant women, as well as the insufficient enforcement of the regulatory framework and the lack of monitoring of private employment agencies which are reportedly sometimes involved in trafficking networks. While noting the abolishment of the “performing artist” visa which facilitated trafficking, the Committee notes with concern the negative repercussions of the new visa regime on migrant women coming from European Union countries who are increasingly trafficked for exploitation in new forms of establishments, other than cabarets, such as private apartments. The Committee regrets the absence of information about the prevalence of prostitution in the State party and about exit programmes for women seeking other livelihoods. (Para. 19)
The Committee calls on the State party to: (a) Increase its efforts to effectively investigate acts of trafficking and to prosecute and punish perpetrators; (b) Provide adequate assistance and protection to all victims of human trafficking, irrespective of their capacity or willingness to cooperate in the legal proceedings against traffickers, and ensure that such assistance includes psychological support, rehabilitation and social reintegration; (c) Take effective measures to strictly enforce existing legislation pertaining to private employment agencies and monitor their activities, with a view to preventing the trafficking of migrant women as domestic workers, and consider ratifying ILO Convention No. 181 concerning private employment agencies (1997); (d) Ensure a strict control of the new visa regime so that it does not facilitate or result in trafficking of migrant women, and conduct an impact assessment of the regime currently in place; and (e) Develop strategies to prevent exploitation of prostitution, and implement programmes to support and provide rehabilitation for sex workers seeking alternative livelihoods. (Para. 20)
Education: While noting with satisfaction the adoption of an Action Plan on Gender Equality in Education which provides for measures that address traditional gender roles and stereotypes in the family and in society, the Committee is concerned about the lack of evaluation of the implementation of the Action Plan. The Committee is also concerned about the concentration of women in traditionally women-dominated fields of study in tertiary education and their underrepresentation in technical and vocational education. Further, the Committee is concerned about the economic, linguistic and cultural challenges that girls belonging to ethnic minorities experience, which affect their academic performance and ultimately their transition to the labour market. (Para. 25)
The Committee recommends that the State party: (a) Undertake an assessment of the impact of the measures undertaken under the Action Plan; (b) Develop measures aiming at the diversification of women’s academic and professional choices, including in non-traditional fields, and increase its efforts to provide career counselling for girls in order to promote their choice of non-traditional career paths; (c) Intensify its efforts to remove economic, linguistic and cultural barriers faced by girls belonging to ethnic minorities, including Turkish Cypriot girls, in attaining a standard of performance which facilitate s their successful transition into further studies or the labour market. (Para. 26)
Health: While noting that, according to a decision of the Council of Ministers, the National Health Insurance System will be implemented by 2016, the Committee is concerned that the absence of a national health system and subsequent lack of universal care negatively impact on access to health services for low-income groups of women, in particular for migrant women and older women. The Committee is also concerned about the reported difficulties in obtaining affordable contraceptives for disadvantaged groups of women and about the unavailability of some methods of modern contraception in the State party. Further, the Committee regrets the lack of data on unsafe abortions in the State party.
The Committee calls on the State party to: (a) Ensure universal access to health care and services for all women, with particular attention to migrant and elderly women, as well as the swift implementation of the National Health Insurance System; (b) Provide a comprehensive range of affordable contraceptives and family planning methods, including emergency contraception, and ensure that all women and girls, including migrant women and girls, do not face economic, linguistic or cultural barriers in accessing family-planning information and services; and (c) Conduct research on unsafe abortions in the State party and their impact on women’s health and maternal mortality, and include such information in its next periodic report. (Para. 30)
Disadvantaged groups of women: The Committee expresses its concern about the vulnerable situation of older women and women with disabilities, who often suffer multiple forms of discrimination, especially with regard to access to education, employment, adequate housing, health care and social services. It regrets the limited information provided by the State party in this regard. (Para. 31)
Children of displaced women: The Committee notes with concern that the legislation of the State party continues to discriminate against children of women with internally displaced status, by preventing them from benefiting from the same status awarded to children of internally displaced men, which includes access to voting rights, social benefits and housing assistance. The Committee urges the State party to amend its legislation without delay to ensure that children of women with internally displaced status are able to benefit from the same status as children of internally displaced men. (Paras. 33-34)
Last reported: 25 May 2006
Concluding Observations published: 30 May 2006
Stereotypes: The Committee is concerned about the pervasiveness of patriarchal attitudes and deep-rooted traditional social prejudices and stereotyped attitudes regarding the roles and responsibilities of women and men in the family, the workplace, the classroom, media and other areas of society. The State party's report recognises these stereotypes as the major obstacle for the advancement of women in Cyprus and as a root cause of women's disadvantaged position in a number of areas, including the labour market, political and public life, the highest levels of the education system and the media, as well as persistent violence against women, especially within the family. (Paragraph 17)
The Committee urges the State party to increase its efforts to design and implement systematic and comprehensive strategies to foster a better understanding of and support for substantive equality between women and men in all spheres and at all levels of society. Such measures should include awareness-raising and educational campaigns that address women and men, girls and boys, with a view to eliminating stereotypes associated with traditional gender roles in the family and in society, in accordance with articles 2 (f) and 5 (a) of the Convention. (Paragraph 18)
Last reported: 23 December 2015
Concluding observations published: 12 May 2017
B. Positive aspects
The Committee welcomes the adoption of the following legislative and policy measures:
Creation of a Code of Conduct against Racism and Guide for Managing and Reporting Racist Incidents in Schools in 2014, which set out an anti-racist policy and provides schools and teachers with advice on preventing racist incidents and violence in school context, as well as a recommendation by the Ministry of Education and Culture that all schools implement this code in the 2015-2016 school year (Para.3, d).
Situation of Roma/Kurbets
While appreciating information provided by the State party during the dialogue on its efforts to improve housing units inhabited by Roma and provide education in Kurbetcha, the Committee regrets the lack of information on a comprehensive strategy for the inclusion of Roma. The Committee is concerned that Roma/Kurbets continue to face discrimination and stigmatization as well as challenges such as low school attendance and high dropout rates of Roma/Kurbets children, difficulty accessing adequate housing, unemployment, and reported racist attacks (art. 5). (Para. 18).
The Committee recommends that the State party develop a comprehensive strategy for the inclusion of Roma/Kurbets to ensure that they have access to adequate housing, education (including in the Kurbetcha language where and when appropriate), employment and health care without discrimination or stigma. The Committee further recommends that sufficient resources are allocated for the implementation of this strategy and that the implementation of the strategy is adequately monitored and evaluated (Para. 19).
Last Reported: 26 August 2013 Concluding Observations Issued: 23 September 2013
Issues raised and recommendations given:
Conflict in Cyprus: …The Committee requests the State party to include in its next periodic report information on inter-communal initiatives undertaken by the State party and by civil society organizations to restore mutual confidence and improve relations between ethnic and/or religious communities as well as raise awareness through the impartial teaching of the history of Cyprus in schools and other State institutions.
Roma Community: The Committee notes with concern that the Roma community continues to experience discrimination in access to education, employment and living conditions. Moreover, the Committee notes the information provided by the State party that measures taken to improve the situation of the Roma have not been as effective as they should have been. The Committee is further concerned at reports of racist attacks against Roma, as well as at their de facto segregation and information about the unwillingness of local communities to live side by side with them. The Committee, recalling its general recommendation No. 27 (2000) on discrimination against Roma, recommends that the State party step up efforts to address the precarious situation of the Roma community. The Committee also calls on the State party to ensure that measures taken, including through the National Strategy for Roma Inclusion, do not perpetuate the situation of de facto segregation of the Roma community, but rather secure their integration and address the stigmatization, marginalization and racial discrimination they experience. It requests the State party to provide information on measures taken and progress made in its next periodic report. (arts. 2 and 5)
Education: The Committee expresses concern at reports of racist incidents in schools against migrant children. Noting the State party’s response to racist incidents in schools, including the dispatch of multidisciplinary teams to provide immediate assistance to schools concerned and the provision of psychological support to vulnerable children, the Committee calls on the State party to ensure that measures are also taken with a view to creating an environment of tolerance and understanding of cultural diversity in schools as well as in the society at large. The Committee also recommends that the State party conduct surveys on the society’s perception of cultural diversity and act upon the findings. (art. 7)
Last reported: 2 and 3 August 2001
Concluding Observations adopted: 10 August 2001
Education: The Committee expresses its concern at the lack of legal provisions expressly outlawing racial discrimination by private persons in education and employment, and recommends that the State party give attention to the development of such legislation. (Paragraph 269)
The Committee encourages the State party to take further steps to increase awareness of the Convention among the general public, in particular foreign domestic workers, members of the police and the judiciary. It also recommends that measures taken by the State party to combat discrimination in the field of education, culture and information be intensified. (Paragraph 272)
Last reported: 2 August 2013
Concluding observations issued: 12 April 2017
Issues raised and recommendations:
Children with disabilities (art. 7): the Committee is concerned about the limited access to early intervention and support provided to children with disabilities and their families, especially within the educational, health and social sector, and about the inadequate financial allowances available for families of children with disabilities. The Committee recommends that the State party, in close collaboration with representative organisations of persons with disabilities, adopt and implement human rights-based policies, laws and regulations increasing access by children with disabilities and their families to early intervention and other forms of individualised and necessary service and support, including earmarked financial support in accordance with article 28 of the Convention (para. 19 and 20).
The Committee notes with concern that the views of children with disabilities are insufficiently respected in matters concerning children. The Committee also notes with concern that the right of children with disabilities to inclusive education in mainstream schools may be restricted by parental consent, contrary to General Comment No. 4 (2016). The Committee recommends that the State party in collaboration with representative organizations of children with disabilities adopt regulations and programmes ensuring that children with disabilities can express their views on all matters affecting them and that their views are fully respected. In this regard, the Committee also recommends that the State party ensure the right of children with disabilities to inclusive education in mainstream schools in accordance with General Comment No. 4 (2016) (para. 21 and 22).
Freedom from exploitation, violence and abuse (art. 16): the Committee is concerned about the insufficiency of legal provisions and accessible mechanisms to detect, report, prevent and combat all forms of violence, including sexual violence in private and public spheres against persons with disabilities, including children. The Committee recommends that the State party strengthen and implement legislation, as well as provide for accessible monitoring and reporting mechanisms to detect, prevent and combat all forms of violence, including sexual violence against persons with disabilities in all settings, including all types of institutions, with a particular focus on women and children with disabilities. It also recommends that the State party ensure capacity building among employees within the judiciary, police, health and social sectors to ensure accessible and inclusive support services, including confidential complaint mechanisms, as well as shelters and other support measures (para. 39 and 40).
Education (art. 24): the Committee is deeply concerned about the absence of a clear and implemented concept of inclusive education in mainstream schools in national legislation. It also notes with concern that segregated education remains rooted in the education system, which is also frequently reflected by the attitudes of teachers and other relevant professionals. The Committee recommends that the State party decide upon a clear legislative scope of inclusive education and monitor its implementation with a view to fully replacing segregated education by inclusive education; adopt a clear, targeted and adequately funded plan of action, which includes access to reasonable accommodation and adequate teacher education and training; and be guided by General Comment No. 4 (2016) and targets 4.5 and 4a of the Sustainable Development Goals in ensuring equal access to all levels and types of education, education facilities and vocational training by persons with disabilities (para. 49 and 50).