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National strategy to protect Cyprus’ LGBT community

Õðïõñãüò Äéêáéïóýíçò êáé Äçìïóßáò ÔÜîåùò ¢ííá Ðñïêïðßïõ
Justice Minister Anna Procopiou

Justice Minister Anna Procopiou announced plans to prepare a national strategy for the protection and safeguarding of members of the LGBT community on Friday.

Procopiou was speaking at an event hosted by the police, which aims to promote equality and fight against discrimination, and added that work is also, underway to create a national strategy for the prevention and combating of antisemitism.

Speaking on the broader issue of human rights in light of the 75th anniversary of the signing of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, she said “the recognition that every person, without discrimination, has rights which are inalienable constitutes one of the greatest conquests of human society.”

She added that the Universal Declaration of Human Rights “constitutes the timeless commitment to respect and protect the fundamental rights and freedoms of humanity, without any exception whatsoever.”

“It is imperative to collectively fight for the respect and protection of human rights with policies and legislation which will ensure the dignity, justice, and participation of all in society on an equal basis,” she said.

Moving on to the matter of Cyprus, she said “human rights and freedoms are primarily protected by the Constitution.”

She added that “Cyprus, as an equal member state of the European Union, applies the provisions of the charter of fundamental rights, which recognises the protection of human rights as a central component of Europe.”

She said the government has “placed high among its priorities the prevention of and fight against racism and the promotion of equality and inclusion as part of a wider effort to create a society which respects and protects the uniqueness and diversity of each person.”

She then spoke about policy achievements to this end, including the National strategy for the protection and promotion of human rights, which was implemented in 2021, and national action plans and strategies formed for the prevention of violence against women.

“Especially for women, targeted actions are promoted with the aim of deconstructing outdated stereotypes and perceptions which are also the main cause of inequality and discrimination against women,” she said.

She added, “at the same time, actions have been aimed at addressing the challenges and difficulties faced daily by women who face discrimination due to their sexual orientation or gender identity, and [helping] women who experience abuse.”

She went on to say “the essential safeguarding of rights is possible when respect for every person, without any discrimination, becomes a way of life for everyone and part of their mentality.”

“When every person realises that human rights concern each and every one of us individually, affecting every facet of our lives, and smooth social coexistence,” she said, safeguarding human rights will become more possible.

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