How Cyprus EU presidency is doing on human rights
(Brussels, 17 October 2012) Before the start of Cyprus’s six-month presidency of the EU, Amnesty International recommended how it might best promote human rights. At the mid-point of the presidency’s term, the organisation has issued its observations on progress.
“Cyprus has pursued some important human rights goals, including tackling violence against women, negotiations on the asylum package, and helping coordinate EU countries’ positions at this summer’s UN talks on the Arms Trade Treaty. And we welcome the fact that the strategic framework on International Humanitarian Law (IHL) has been put on the agenda of the Working Party on International Public Law (COJUR)”, said Nicolas Beger, Director of Amnesty International’s European Institutions Office.
“But there have also been missed opportunities. In the asylum package, the detention of minors was not precluded under the Reception Conditions Directive. We’re also concerned that there’s been no action over the eight selected cases of people under threat.”
Amnesty International has urged the presidency to show greater leadership and:-
• Ensure meaningful consultation with civil society organisations over the EU’s accession to the European Convention on Human Rights. This process must enhance and deliver human rights protection in Europe
• Support effective implementation of the recently-adopted directive on the rights of victims of crime, which is crucial to the directive’s future
• Follow through on its commitment and ensure that the forthcoming Council conclusions on violence against women explicitly refer to female genital mutilation and are drafted in close consultation with civil society
• Sign and ratify the Council of Europe convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence
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