Committee on the Elimination of
Discrimination against Women
11 February – 1 March 2013
List of issues and questions with regard to the consideration of periodic reports
The pre-session working group considered the combined sixth and seventh periodic report of Cyprus (CEDAW/C/CYP/6-7).
1.Please provide information on the process of preparing the report and the extent of related consultations with non-governmental organizations. Please also explain whether the report was adopted by the Government and submitted to Parliament.
Constitutional and legislative framework
2.The report refers to the definition of discrimination as embodied in the Equal Treatment of Men and Women in Employment and Vocational Training Law (paras. 5-6). Please indicate if the scope of the definition of discrimination against women provided for in article 28 of the Constitution, as interpreted by national case law, covers direct and indirect discrimination and extends to acts of discrimination by public and private actors, in line with article 1 of the Convention. The Core document indicates that international Conventions ratified or acceded to by the Republic of Cyprus are directly applicable and can be, and are in fact, invoked before, anddirectly enforced by courts (HRI/CORE/CYP/2011, para. 108). Please provide information on cases in which theConvention hasbeen invoked or referred to by domestic courts, as well as the outcome of such cases.
3.The report indicates that women are reluctant to bring cases of sex discrimination before the courts (para. 9). Please indicate the reasons why women are reluctant and indicate if the State party has taken steps to raise awareness of women and encourage them to seek redress against discrimination. In the light of the transfer of competencies of the National Institution for the Protection of Human Rights (NIPHR) to the Ombudsman (para. 14), please provide information on the current status of the NIPHR, as well as on the extended mandate of the Ombudsman and the human and financial resources allocated to it. Please also elaborate on the outcome of the complaints based on sex discrimination filed before the Anti-Discrimination Body since 2004 (para. 14), and indicate if any redress was provided to the victims.
National machinery for the advancement of women
4.Please provide the Committee with updated information on the current human and financial resources, as well as the respective functions of the National Machinery for Women’s Rights, the Equality Unit within the Ministry of Justice and Public Order, and the Ministerial Committee for Gender Equality between Women and Men established in November 2009 (paras. 15-24). Please also provide information on the progress of the study on the existing gender-equality bodies with a view to creating a unified body on gender equality (para. 22), and indicate a timeframe to establish such body.
Programmes and action plans
5.Please indicate if any evaluation mechanisms have been established to assess and measure the impact of the National Action Plan on Gender Equality (NAPGE) for 2007-2013 (paras. 3, 10, 15, 18 and 21) and describe the results achieved so far through its implementation. The report further refers to the adoption of national action plans in 2010 in the areas of trafficking and domestic violence (paras. 3, 35 and 49). Please provide detailed information on human and financial resources allocated for implementing these plans and whether indicators as well as time-bound targets have been established to assess their implementation in all regions in the State party. Please also inform the Committee on the current status of the National Action Plan on Employment dated 2004 (paras. 3 and 10) and on the National Action Plan on Social Protection and Social Inclusion dated 2008 (paras. 3, 10 and 135).
Violence against women
6.The report indicates that the aim of the National Action Plan on Prevention and Handling of Family Violence was to monitor the extent of family violence (para. 35) and refers to the role of the Police Domestic Violence and Child Abuse office in collecting statistical data (para. 43). In this regard, please provide information on the number of reported cases of domestic violence since 2009 (para. 42), and on prosecutions, convictions and sentences imposed. Please also provide sex-disaggregated statistical data on the number of restraining orders issued per year (para. 34)and whether any government-run shelters have been established for victims of domestic violence.
7.In accordance with its general recommendation No. 19 as well as its previous concluding observations (CEDAW/C/CYP/CO/5, para. 26), please provide data, disaggregated by regions, on the prevalence and trends in other forms of violence against women and girls, including rape, sexual abuses and sexual harassment, as well as detailed information on the number of cases reported, prosecutions and convictions of the perpetrators of such acts since the consideration of the last report.
Trafficking and exploitation of prostitution
8.Please indicate which concrete measures have been taken by the Multidisciplinary Coordinating Group for Combating Trafficking in Human Beings, since its establishment, to implement the nine thematic areas of the National Action Plan approved in April 2010 (para. 49). Please also elaborate on the victim’s referral mechanism referred to in paragraph 47 of the report. Does the State party envisage increasing the number of shelter facilities to provide adequate assistance and protection to victims of trafficking and exploitation of prostitution?
9.The report indicates that, in 2008, the Council of Ministers approved a new policy for the entry, residence and employment of third country nationals as artists and that the procedure, based on the Aliens and Immigration Law, is now similar to that applicable for all alien workers (para. 54). Please indicate if the special visas for artists have been formally repealed by law in the State party and if a monitoring system has been established to ensure a stringent application of the new permit policy. Since its implementation, has any assessment been carried out to study the impact of the new policy on trafficking trends? Please provide the Committee with updated sex-disaggregated data on the number of victims of exploitation of prostitution and trafficking, as well as data on the number of complaints, investigations, prosecutions and sentences imposed on perpetrators during the period under review.
Participation in political and public life and decision-making
10.In light of the 2011 parliamentary and local elections (para. 68), please provide the Committee with updated data on the number of women in government, parliament, the judiciary, as well as in decision-making positions and international service (paras. 59-62 and 76). The report indicates that most political parties have introduced a quota system to favour the participation of women in their decision-making bodies or on their lists and that the NAPGE includes targets and quotas for women participation in public and political life (para. 71). Does the State Party envisage including temporary special measures in its legislation to accelerate de facto equality between men and women?
Education and stereotypes
11.Please provide updated statistical data on the enrolment rate of girls in primary and secondary school and at university level, including Cypriot Turkish-speaking women and girls and women and girls with disabilities, as well as the results of the research project on the gendered map of tertiary education (paras. 83-87 and 90).
12.Please elaborate on the Action Plan drafted by the Ministry of Education and Culture which contains gender equality policies in education and training to prevent stereotyping attitudes on gender roles (paras. 32 and 78-79) and indicate which measures have been taken to address stereotypes regarding gender roles in the family and in society (CEDAW/C/CYP/CO/5, para. 18), as well as whether the Action Plan includes measures aimed at the diversification of women’s academic and professional choices, as recommended by the Committee in its previous concluding observations (para. 24). According to the report, the elimination of gender stereotypes is also being addressed by the ongoing educational reform (para. 79). Please provide the Committee with information on the content of the educational reform and indicate if it includes awareness-raising activities to combat gender stereotypes at all levels of the educational system.
13.Please inform the Committee on the outcome of the complaints filed before the Equality Authority based on sex discrimination and indicate if any redress was provided to the victims (para. 14). Please provide information on the status of the project called “Actions for Reducing the Gender Pay Gap” referred to in paragraph 97 of the report and on results achieved through its implementation.
14.Referring to the revision by a Ministerial Committee of the employment policy concerning migrant domestic workers (para. 135), please provide detailed information on concrete measures taken to ensure the legal protection of migrant women employed as domestic workers, as well as on the effective implementation of the regulatory and inspection framework put in place to monitor their working conditions and the existence of a contract (paras. 137-140). The report indicates that 1,210 complaints were filed by domestic workers in 2010 before the Labour Relations Department (para. 140). Please elaborate on the outcome of these complaints and indicate if any reparation or compensation was granted. Please also provide information on the number of complaints filed since 2010, and on their outcome.
15.Please provide concrete information on measures taken to monitor closely the terms and conditions of contracts, conditions of work and salaries of women migrants and strategies and policies for their full integration in the labour force and for the elimination of direct and indirect discrimination, as requested by the Committee in its previous concluding observations (CEDAW/C/CYP/CO/5, para. 30).
16.In light of the National Health Care Strategy (2008-2010) which, according to the report, is already in an advanced stage of implementation (para. 119), please provide the Committee with detailed information on the results achieved and on its impact on health-care services for women belonging to disadvantaged groups, such as migrant, asylum-seekers, internally displaced person (IDP) and Roma women. The report also indicates that the development of a national health system is one of the priorities of the National Health Care Strategy (para. 119). Please indicate a time frame for its establishment.
17.Pleaseindicate whether all methods of contraception are free of charge and accessible to both women and men, including adolescent girls and boys. Please also provide current data, disaggregated by regions, on the rate of illegal and unsafe abortions and on the number of deaths and health-related complications due to illegal and unsafe abortions. Please indicate if the State party has taken measures to include education on sexual and reproductive health and rights in the school curricula.
Disadvantaged groups of women
18.Please provide detailed information on measures, including temporary special measures, taken to eliminate multiple forms of discrimination against women belonging to disadvantaged groups, including minority women, migrant women, internally displaced women, rural women, older women, women with disabilities and Roma women, in political and public life and in the areas of education, employment and health. In particular, please indicate which measures or policies have been taken under the Rural Development Programme (2007-2013) (para. 151) to improve the situation of rural women in the State party. Please also provide information on the conditions required for migrant women to access the Public Employment Services.
19.Please inform the Committee on the status of the amendments to the Registry Law and to the Housing Assistance to Displaced and other Persons Law, pursuant to the Supreme Court ruling in December 2010 which considered these amendments unconstitutional (paras. 148-149). Please indicate if children of women with internally displaced status are entitled to documents, such as refugee identity cards, enabling them to access to social benefits.
Marriage and family
20.Please provide information on the status of the bill on Family Mediation which was laid before Parliament, elaborate onits content and provide a timeline for its adoption (para. 157).