Cyprus reviewed at 6th session of UPR
Tuesday, 01 December 2009 10:24

On 30 November 2009, the Working Group on the UPR examined the human rights situation in Cyprus. Cyprus was represented by its Law Commissioner, Leda Koursoumba. Heated discussions between Cyprus and Turkey regarding territorial and political disputes distracted somewhat from the Working Group’s focus on the actual human rights situation in Cyprus. While the Acting Chairperson of the Working Group made statements reminding all parties involved that territorial issues were not an appropriate topic for discussion during the UPR review and asking that States frame their comments in the context of human rights issues, he allowed States to continue making such statements throughout the review.  Despite this side discussion between Cyprus and Turkey, most States participating in the interactive dialogue took the opportunity to praise Cyprus for its commitment to human rights, as evidenced by its wide ratification of international human rights instruments and significant legislative reforms over the past decade.


States also offered recommendations and constructive criticism in the following areas: low political participation by women, gender-based employment discrimination, and high rates of domestic abuse; concern over the absence of an accredited national human rights institution in Cyprus; social and employment discrimination against migrants in Cyprus and reports of prolonged detention of migrants under harsh conditions; continued reports of some cases of human trafficking; and the need to provide human rights training to police officers and prison officials and end impunity for misconduct by such officials. Several States also noted with concern that Cyprus has not finalised the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child dealing with children in armed conflict, has not completed the process of ratification of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, and is not a party to the Convention on the Rights of Migrant Workers and their Families.


The report of the Working group was then adopted on 4 December 2009, two days after it was initially scheduled, in the absence of Cyprus. Prior to the adoption of the report, a letter from the Ambassador of Cyprus was circulated throughout the room, stating that the UPR report contained ‘non-UN terminology with regard to the sovereignty, territorial integrity and unity of the Republic of Cyprus’ and so Cyprus ‘did not wish to be directly or indirectly associated with this procedure and thus Cyprus will not be present in the room’. The Chairperson stated his position that although it is the view of Cyprus that one State used inappropriate language, the Acting Chairperson and the Chairperson did not share that view, and so the report would be upheld. He also added that the adoption of the report did not reflect a position of the Council or Working group on the legal status of Cyprus and he regretted that they could not reach a consensus with all parties.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 04 May 2010 10:24
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