Cyprus is taking another step towards strengthening the framework for effective prevention and battling of violence against women, with the approval by the Cabinet of two important proposals.
In statements at the Presidential Palace following the Cabinet's meeting, Justice Minister Stephie Drakos said that the first proposal is related to the approval, at the national level, of a strategy and action plan for the years 2023-2028 to prevent and combat all forms of violence against women included in the Istanbul Convention.
She said that the policy documents are the product of a long and wide consultation between all relevant government agencies, women's organizations and civil society and reflect the government's will and determination to combat and effectively address gender-based violence.
According to the Minister, the strategy and action plan were drawn up based on the four pillars of the Istanbul Convention and recommendations of the expert report of the Council of Europe's Grevio Committee, consequently fulfilling our obligation arising from this Convention and from the national law.
Drakos said that they include innovative actions in the areas of prevention, protection of victims, and the prosecution of perpetrators. They also aspire to deal coherently, comprehensively and holistically with all forms of gender-based violence.
The second proposal eradicates 2 of the 3 reservations that were filed in 2015 when the Republic of Cyprus signed the Convention and leads Cyprus, according to the Minister, one step closer to its full harmonization with the Convention.
She told the press that one reservation concerns judicial jurisdiction, that is, our courts have full jurisdiction regarding offenses in European space, and the second concerns the residence status of victims of violence, which depends on the status of their spouse or partner.
For the third reservation which has to do with state compensation for victims of violence, it was decided, the Minister explained, to keep things as they stand for the time being, but an obligation was assumed that the Ministry of Justice, in consultation with the Ministry of Finance, would process, within a timely period, the financial costs that will arise when this reservation is also removed.
The Minister said that the second removal reaffirms the Government's commitment and determination to continue and intensify efforts for substantial and effective support, protection and empowerment of all female victims of gender-based and domestic violence, without exclusion or discrimination.
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