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18 June, 2024
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Cyprus leads in Europe with anti-femicide law

The island spearheads fight against femicide at UN

Newsroom / CNA

Cyprus encourages all States to acknowledge the existence of femicide, Permanent Representative of the Republic of Cyprus to the UN Ambassador Andreas Hadjichrysanthou has said, noting that the Cyprus Parliament has adopted a law on femicide which was the first of such piece of legislation in Europe.

Addressing the Third Committee, with Agenda Item 25 on “Advancement of Women”, he said that Cyprus is determined to intensify efforts to eliminate all forms of discrimination against women and girls.

In addition, he said that Cyprus has set as a top priority to gender mainstream all its policies and actions so to create a gender-responsive political, economic, and social framework, leaving no one behind.

To achieve this goal, he added, the Office of the Commissioner of Gender Equality -soon to be institutionalized as a permanent structure within the Government of the Republic Cyprus- is preparing the new Strategy on Gender Equality 2024-2026.

He noted that in this regard, gender focal points have been appointed in all relevant Ministries and Authorities, with the civil society having a prominent role in the drafting process of the new national strategy.

Prevention and combating of all forms of violence against women and girls is within the highest priorities of the Republic of Cyprus, the Permanent Representative said.

Last year, he pointed out, Cyprus’ Parliament took a highly significant step adopting a law on femicide.

"The law was the first of such piece of legislation in Europe, integrating femicide into the Criminal Code as a distinct crime, rendering gender-related killings as an aggravating factor when imposing sentences", he stressed.

Moreover, he stated that Cyprus recognises the importance of taking appropriate and effective action towards eradicating the heinous crime of femicide around the world.

He recalled that during the 53rd Session of the Human Rights Council, Cyprus led a Join Statement on “Femicides and Human Rights” together with Israel, co-sponsored by 69 Member States from all regional groups. Additionally, together with Malta, UNODC and UN Women, Cyprus organized a side event during CSW67 last March in New York, breaking the silence on femicide.

Cyprus, he added, encourages all States to acknowledge the existence of femicide and define gender-related killings in their national legal frameworks.

Furthermore, "we encourage all States to develop prevention strategies to address femicide, including through education and training of law enforcement authorities, judicial officials, educators, health system workers, and other relevant stakeholders".

Noting that human rights is the cornerstone of the multilateral system and a top priority for Cyprus’ foreign policy, he said that as a candidate for the Human Rights Council for 2025-2027 from the Asia-Pacific Group, Cyprus remains committed to the promotion, protection, and fulfilment of all human rights by all women and girls.

"We reaffirm our commitment to the international framework on gender equality, the full and effective implementation of the Beijing Platform for Action and the Programme of Action, as well as the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development" he concluded

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