Member States’ best practices on the Charter

Cyprus

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Cyprus

Government policies that promote the use and awareness of the Charter among the legislator, the administration, law enforcement bodies and the judiciary

The first National Strategy for the Protection and Promotion of Human Rights, adopted by the Council of Ministers (Ypourgikó Symvoúlio) in June 2021, was drawn up on the basis of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union. The National Strategy focuses on the following pillars:

(a) protection of and respect for human rights;

(b) promotion of human rights and compliance with international and European obligations by the Republic of Cyprus;

(c) prevention, information and awareness-raising to create a culture of respect for human rights.

The National Strategy is addressed to all State authorities and to the wider public and aims for the coordinated and systematic protection and promotion of individual, civil, social, economic and cultural human rights. The implementation of the National Strategy is monitored by the Ministry of Justice and Public Order (Ypourgeío Dikaiosýnis kai Dimosías Táxeos).

Information days, awareness-raising campaigns and anniversary events relating to human rights issues also take place.

In addition, court decisions referring to the Charter are available on the http://www.leginet.eu/ and http://www.cylaw.org/ websites. Examples of such decisions are:

  • Criminal Appeal No 60/22, Agrafioti v Republic of Cyprus, 23 November 2022;
  • Civil Appeal No 17/22 concerning the civil case of T.G., 13 January 2023;
  • European Arrest Warrant Appeal No 1/22, Y.B.L. v Attorney General, 4 November 2022.

Tools that help better understand the Charter and when it applies

Cyprus is pushing forward the preparation of National Action Plans, which will translate the objectives of the National Strategy for the Protection and Promotion of Human Rights, and consequently of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, into actions.

Information and awareness-raising actions are carried out by the police.

The Ministry of Justice and Public Order is cooperating with NGOs on the rights of victims of violence against women.

A child-friendly criminal justice system has been established.

Use and promotion of Charter tools developed by other EU countries or by other stakeholders in the EU

[Please explain and provide links, if available.

By tools developed by other stakeholders we mean, civil society organisations, rights defenders such as National Human Rights Institutions or Equality Bodies or their networks, academia, EU institutions, EU bodies, EU Agencies etc.]

Cooperation with stakeholders to promote the use and awareness of the EU Charter of fundamental rights

Examples of cooperation between rights defenders and national authorities that contribute to a better awareness and use of the Charter

The Office of the Commissioner for Administration and the Protection of Human Rights (Ombudsman) (Grafeío Epitrópou Dioikíseos kai Prostasías Anthropínon Dikaiomáton), in its capacity as National Human Rights Institution (NHRI), participates as a partner in a regional project funded by the EEA and Norway Grants with the overall objective of supporting the National Human Rights Institutions of Member States of the European Union (EU) in monitoring fundamental rights at national level and the fundamental rights aspects of the rule of law.

The participants in the project are the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights, as lead partner, and the National Human Rights Institutions of seven EU countries, including our Office. The European Network of National Human Rights Institutions (ENNHRI) also participates as an expertise partner.

As lead partner, the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights leads the overall implementation of the project, promoting cooperation between the beneficiary partners and providing advice and guidance on the actions planned.

The Office of the Commissioner for Administration and the Protection of Human Rights (Ombudsman) has already secured funding to implement this project, which is due to be completed on 29 February 2024 and includes the following three thematic work packages:

  1. 1st Work Package: Strengthening/improving use of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights by NHRIs and strengthening their role in implementing the provisions of the Charter at national level, including by building on the capacity/training of their staff in using EU legislation on fundamental rights in their work.
  2. 2nd Work Package: Strengthening the capacity of NHRIs to monitor the respect/implementation of fundamental rights and the rule of law, including their cooperation with relevant EU mechanisms and the promotion, at national level, of the public debate on fundamental rights and the rule of law.
  3. 3rd Work Package: Developing/improving the capacity of NHRIs to monitor compliance with fundamental rights in the implementation of EU funds, as provided for by new EU legislation.

Please note that, for the purposes of implementing the project, two training seminars will be organised for the following target groups identified by our Office: legal professionals (lawyers/prosecutors) and public service officials.

(NB: The project provides for the organisation of a third training seminar for judges, but this will be entrusted to an expert from abroad.)

Two training seminars will also be organised for all the staff of our Office, in order to build on their knowledge of EU human rights law, and the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights in particular.

The project is expected to meet the objective of promoting the use and awareness of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights across the board as regards both public administration and partners directly involved in its implementation, such as lawyers and judges.

Examples of cooperation between national authorities and academia that contribute to a better awareness and use of the Charter

The first National Strategy for the Protection and Promotion of Human Rights was drawn up by the Ministry of Justice and Public Order, with the assistance of the Department of Law of the University of Cyprus, in the context of implementation of the Memorandum of Understanding on human rights signed between the Ministry and the University’s Department of Law.

Examples of non-governmental initiatives that promote the use and awareness of the Charter in your country

[Please explain and provide links to the initiatives, if available.]

Last update: 17/04/2024

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