Members’ section
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CYPRUS: Office of the Commissioner for Administration and Human Rights

General Contact Information

Full name in English:

Anti-Discrimination Body & Equality Authority (Office of the Commissioner for Administration and Human Rights)

Full name in the national language(s):

Αρχή κατά των Διακρίσεων & Αρχή Ισότητας (Γραφείο Επιτρόπου Διοικήσεως και Ανθρωπίνων Δικαιωμάτων)

Postal address:
Office of the Commissioner for Administration and Human Rights, 1470, Nicosia, Cyprus
Website:

www.ombudsman.gov.cy

General email address:
ombudsman@ombudsman.gov.cy
Helpline:

N/A

Telephone number:

+35722405500 / 501

Twitter:

@CYOmbudsman

Other social media channels:

Facebook: Επίτροπος Διοικήσεως – Cyprus Ombudsman

Languages in which your institution can be contacted:

Greek & English (if a complaint is sent to any other language, this would be translated)

Person of contact for media enquiries:

Thekla Demetriadou (tdemetriadou@ombudsman.gov.cy), Elena Karekla (ekarekla@ombudsman.gov.cy) & Niovi Georgiade (ngeorgiade@ombudsman.gov.cy)

Name of the Head of the equality body:

Aristos Tsiartas (Head of Anti-Discrimination Body) & Eleni Hadjittofi (Head of Equality Authority)

Contact Person

Name:

Niovi Georgiade

Email:
ngeorgiade@ombudsman.gov.cy

Main Informations

Overview

Among the first things we want people to know about the institution is that:
- the institution is independent and employs individuals who are well-rounded in legal and human rights matters.
- victims of discrimination or human rights violation(s) are at the epicentre of the institution’s works
- we strive for continuous improvement of our knowledge, skills and experience in European and international human rights law so as to provide the best possible protection to individuals but also to help raise awareness in this area
- the people’s views and complaints are valuable to the effective exercise of the institution’s competences and to the bringing about of the social change needed within a democratic society.

* by institution, in this sense, we refer to the Cyprus Ombudsman with emphasis on its human rights and anti-discrimination, rather than its maladministration, related competences.

Brief history

The Office of the Commissioner for Administration (Cyprus Ombudsman) was established in 1991 by the enactment of the Commissioner for Administration Laws following approval by the House of Parliament. Since these laws have undergone a number of amendments but remain in force with regard to the competences of the Commissioner as an independent authority, responsible to deal with issues of maladministration, misbehaviour and human rights violations by state authorities or public officers. In 2004, following the accession of Cyprus into the EU and as a result of the incorporation of Directives 2000/78/EC and 2000/43/EC into Cyprus law (Law 42 (I)/2004) the mandate of the Ombudsman was expanded so as to include competences for combating discrimination and promoting equality under the directives. This Law led to the establishment of the Anti-Discrimination Authority and the Equality Authority. In 2009, following the ratification of the Optional Protocol of the UN Convention against Torture by the enactment of Law 2 (III) /2009, the competences of the National Mechanism for the Prevention of Torture (NPM) were added to the existing competences of the institution. In 2011, the Commissioner for Administration Laws were amended and the institution was renamed “Commissioner for Administration and the Protection of Human Rights” and vested with broader functions in the area of protecting, promoting and guaranteeing human rights as National Institution for Human Rights (NHRI) in line with the Paris Principles. In 2012, following the ratification of the UN Convention for the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (PwD) by the Republic of Cyprus and a relevant Council of Ministers Decision, the Office was appointed independent mechanism for the protection, promotion and monitoring of the implementation of the Convention, in accordance with article 33 (2) of the UN Convention and the Independent Authority for the Promotion of the Rights of PwD was established.

Mandate type
  • Predominantly tribunal-type (quasi-judicial) body
Litigation powers
  • Formally deciding on complaints (e.g. decision or recommendation addressed to the parties) legally binding
Activities
201020112012201320142015
Activities aimed at supporting vulnerable groups (e.g. through trainings)nononononoyes
Activities aimed at supporting duty bearers such as employers and service providers (e.g. through trainings, guidance material, practical support, etc.)noyesyesyesyesno
Communication activities (e.g. awareness raising campaigns)nononoyesyesno
Recommendations on discrimination issuesnoyesyesyesyesno
Publications and reportsnoyesyesyesyesno
Our institution has a mandate to deal with:
  • Violence against women
  • UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD)
  • Hate crime
  • Hate speech
  • Prevention of torture (through the independent national preventive mechanism)
Other statistics
201020112012201320142015
Number of inquiries handled per year (all contact even if not resulting in a formal complaint)279278231151139135
Number of cases handled per year (case files opened and processed according to your procedures)252255257193161173
Number of media appearances per year (major newspapers/magazines/websites/blogs, TV + radio channels) - does not include social mediano datano datano datano datano data60
Management
  • Single headed equality body (led by director or ombudsman/commissioner)
Management details

The Ombudsman heads and has, therefore, the final word for all works of the Office of the Commissioner for Administration and Human Rights as well as the Independent Authorities mentioned above (par.2 - Brief History).

Additional details

Please see ’Brief History’ above.

Procedure for nomination and appointment of management and board

The Ombudsman is appointed by the President of the Republic, following a recommendation of the Council of Ministers and a majority decision of the House of Parliament. The Ombudsman must be a citizen of the Republic, over 35 years old, with a high level of education, experience and integrity. The Ombudsman’s term of Office is 6 years and may be renewed. The institution’s personnel (including the Heads/Supervisors mentioned above) are appointed in accordance with the Public Service Laws. In the procedure of selection of the staff, the Commissioner’s opinion is only advisory.

Number of staff dealing with equality issues
201020112012201320142015
101010101010
Grounds and fields of discrimination covered by the equality body
GroundsFieldsEmploymentEducationHousingSocial Protection & HealthcareGoods & ServicesOther
Genderyesnononoyes
Gender Identitynonononono
Race and Ethnic Originyesyesyesyesyes
Ageyesyesyesyesno
Disabilityyesyesyesyesyes
Sexual Orientationyesyesyesyesyes
Religion & Beliefyesyesyesyesyes
Mandate covers:
  • Public sector
  • Private sector
Operating budget in euros
201020112012201320142015
224954920851821922034200343420908692111146
We are accountable to:
  • National audit institution (i.e. for financial reporting)

Related News

This campaign is being run by the Office of the Commissioner for Administration (Ombudsman) in Cyprus to spread a clear message on zero tolerance for violence against women, eliminate gender stereotypes and challenge socio-cultural attitudes that render violent behaviour acceptable.