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Cyprus approves the ratification bill for the Istanbul Convention

[Nicosia, 26 July 2017. Statement of the Cyprus Women’s Lobby] The ratification bill for the Istanbul Convention has been voted by the House of Representative, on the 14th o July 2017, after it was presented to it on the 20 June 2017. The House of Parliament emphasized the importance of the International Treaty on the Protection of Women against Violence.

Cyprus Republic signed the Istanbul Convention in 2015, while the ratification bill opens the way for the Ratification by the plenary of Parliament.

The Minister of Justice and Public Order, Mr. Ionas Nikolaou in his statement said that it is a very important legislation, and noted that the Convention covers all matters. He has exemplified the draft law on harassment, which is pending before the Committee on Legal Affairs. It is expected that the ratification bill as well as all other relevant legislations regulating violence against women and girls will be adopted by the end of this year.

According to Mr. Nikolaou, the Ministry has proceeded to an evaluation study on the adoption of a series of measures, so that the provisions of the Convention can be implemented upon the ratification of it. The Minister said that the implementation of the provisions of the Convention singed by the Republic entails an economic cost of 820 thousand Euros, but he stated that the full implementation will required a very higher cost for the Republic of Cyprus, which amounts to "a few million".

Cyprus Republic made three reservations on the Convention. One regards compensation for the victims of violence - which entails high costs, the second regards the jurisdiction of the Cypriot courts to examine (“hear”) cases that took place in other states or by non-Cypriot citizens. The third reservation concerns the requirement for a residence regime for victims, which, as the Minister said, was judged by the Ministry of the Interior to be very general and exploitable. Reservations are valid until 2019. According to the Minister, states should prepare for the implementation of the provisions. "We, as the Republic of Cyprus, undertake, with the ratification of the Convention, to take all measures to enable us to apply all three reservations we have listed."

Photo: Lyse Nsengiyumva taken at the Loud and United against violence against women Demonstration in Brussels 8 June 2017.

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