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Cyprus

A. UN Convention status

A1. Ratification or conclusion of the UN Convention

The Republic of Cyprus signed the UN Convention on 30 March 2007 and ratified the Convention on the 27 June 2011. The Bill for the ratification of the Convention was approved by the Council of Ministers on 2 December 2010 and submitted to the House of Representatives. The ratification law for both the Convention and the Optional Protocol was approved on 4 March 2011. The Convention entered into force for the Republic of Cyprus from 27 July 2011.

Links

Update date: Thu, 2017-06-01

A2. Ratification or accession to the Optional Protocol

The Republic of Cyprus signed the Optional Protocol of the UN Convention on 30 March 2007 and ratified the Optional Protocol on 27 June 2011. The Bill for the ratification of the Convention was approved by the Council of Ministers on 2 December 2010 and submitted to the House of Representatives. The ratification law for both the Convention and the Optional Protocol was approved on 4 March 2011. The Optional Protocol has entered into force for the Republic of Cyprus from 27 July 2011.

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Update date: Thu, 2017-06-01

A3. Declarations, Reservations and Objections

A reservation on Article 27 of the UN CRPD has been registered as follows: ‘Whereas the Persons with Disabilities Law, as this has been harmonised with the Council Directive 2000/78/EC of 27 November 2000 establishing a general framework for equal treatment in employment and occupation, prescribes in section 3A thereof that the said Law shall not apply as regards employment: (a) to the armed forces, to the extent that the nature of the work requires special abilities which cannot be exercised by persons with disabilities, and (b) to occupational activities where by reason of the nature or the context in which they are carried out, a characteristic or an ability which is not possessed by a person with a disability, constitutes a genuine and determining occupational requirement, provided that the objective is legitimate and the requirement is proportionate, taking into account the possibility of adopting reasonable measures, the Republic of Cyprus declares that it ratifies the Convention with a reservation in respect of Article 27(1) of the Convention, to the extent that the provisions thereof are in conflict with the provisions of section 3A of the Persons with Disabilities Law.’

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Update date: Thu, 2017-06-01

A4. Comprehensive review

No “comprehensive review” of existing legislation has been undertaken in preparation for the implementation of the UN Convention. The concluding observations for Cyprus of the UN CRPD Committee of April 2017 (Part III, Section A, paragraphs 5 and 6) specifically identify the lack of such review and suggest that all laws and policies of the Republic of Cyprus are reviewed for harmonisation with the UN CRPD articles. This is also stated in the recent report of the Independent Monitoring UN CRPD Mechanism (Ombudsman’s office). In 2018 Cyprus has initiated a process of revision of relevant legislation starting with public consultation procedures for the legislation on education of children with disabilities and the legislation on disability services and provisions of the Ministry of Labour and Social Insurance.

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Update date: Wed, 2018-08-29

A5. Focal point

According to the Council of Ministers decision, dated 9 May 2012, the Department for Social Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities has been nominated as the focal point for the Republic of Cyprus for the implementation of the UN Convention according to article 33.1.

Links

Update date: Thu, 2014-05-01

A6. Coordination mechanism

According to the Council of Ministers decision, dated 9 May 2012, the coordinating mechanism to facilitate actions for the implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities is the Pancyprian Council for Persons with Disabilities, which operates in the framework of the Persons with Disabilities Law. The role of the Council is to consult the government as to the formulation, monitoring and implementation of social policies for persons with disabilities. The Chairman of the Council is the Minister of Labour and Social Insurance and its members are representatives of the co-responsible for disability issues ministries, organisations of persons with disabilities, social partners (trade unions and organisations of employers), as well as independent persons. The Cyprus Confederation of Organisations of the Disabled is recognised as the Social Partner of the State on matters that directly or indirectly related to disability (Law 143(I)/2006). The Confederation is a member of the Pancyprian Council for Persons with Disabilities, and it was actively involved during the discussions for the implementation of Article 33 of the UN Convention. The Coordination mechanism is administratively supported by the focal point (i.e. the Department for Social Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities).

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Update date: Wed, 2018-08-29

A7. Independent mechanism

According to the Council of Ministers decision, dated 9 May 2012, the Ombudsman and Commissioner for the Protection of Human Rights, being also the Equality Authority in Cyprus, has been nominated as the independent mechanism for the promotion, protection and monitoring of the UN Convention according to Article 33.2 of the Convention, namely the Independent Authority for the Promotion of the Rights of People with Disabilities.

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Update date: Wed, 2018-08-29

A8. Official reporting

In July 2013 the Department for Social Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities published Cyprus First Report on the Implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities which was submitted to the UN in August 2013. The purpose of this Report was to record and describe under every article of the Convention, the current laws, policies and activities in Cyprus, that fulfil the rights of persons with disabilities and the implementation of the requirements of the UN Convention. A parallel purpose was to identify the weaknesses and the gaps that exist in the present situation, in comparison to the standards that are set out by the UN Convention, in order to design and promote any necessary further actions, through the formulation of the first National Disability Action Plan in Cyprus, starting with the three years period of 2013-2015. In addition, a Core Document with general information was also published in July 2013. The document provides information about the demographic, economic, social and cultural characteristics of people with disabilities in Cyprus, information about the constitutional, political and legal framework of disability issues and finally discusses issues of human rights. A List of Issues in relation to the initial report of Cyprus was published by the UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in October 2016, identifying general and specific gaps in national legislation in relation to the UN CRPD, the steps that need to be taken for regulations amendments and the measures to ensure the implementation of the National Disability Plan 2013-2015. Cyprus replied to this list of issues in January 2017 and the Concluding Observations of the UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities on the initial report of Cyprus were published in April 2017. A number of areas of concern and recommendations are identified in this report, on both general and specific rights. In the section 'General issues', the most important ones note that Cyprus national legislation has not fully incorporated a human rights-based approach to disability in line with the Convention, in particular its articles 1 and 3. The Committee urges Cyprus to adopt and implement a human rights-based approach to disability and to review all laws and policies accordingly in collaboration with representative organisations of persons with disabilities, in line with Article 4 (3) of the Convention. In December 2017 the Department for Social Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities published the First Disability Strategy for Cyprus 2018-2028, and the Second Disability Action Plan 2018-2020. The majority of the disability movement in Cyprus represented by the Pancyprian Alliance for Disability expressed their disagreement to the suggested strategy and action plan and submitted an Alternative Action Plan to the President of the Republic of Cyprus in April 2018, accompanied by a Memo on the Alliance’s concerns. The Memo highlights the absence of consultation with the disability organisations in Cyprus, and the perpetuation of existing medical model approaches which should have been substituted by a human rights approach and philosophy in the Strategy and Action Plan documents. These reports by the Pancyprian Alliance have not yet been communicated to the UN and they are not included in the UN database.

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Update date: Wed, 2018-08-29

A9. Shadow reporting

In August 2016, the Pancyprian Alliance for Disability submitted an alternative report as the First Civil Society Report on the Implementation of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UN CRPD) in Cyprus. The Pancyprian Alliance for Disability was founded in December 2015, with the purpose of participating in the review of the State Report on the implementation of the UN CRPD in Cyprus and of preparing this Alternative Report for submission to the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. The Alliance is comprised of 20 organisations representing a wide range of persons with disabilities and their families in Cyprus. The organisations involved made a strong effort to build their arguments with extensive consideration of all persons with disabilities, and to deliver a well-balanced account of issues to ensure equal participation. In general, the Alliance holds the opinion that the National Disability Action Plan in Cyprus for the implementation of the CRPD does not actually represent a satisfactory implementation of the CRPD’s goals and principles. In February 2017, the Alliance submitted an additional report in response to the List of Issues of the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in relation to the initial report of Cyprus that aims to provide the Committee with additional information on the implementation status of the UN CRPD in Cyprus. In this report, the Alliance highlights that the Cyprus Government is still reluctant to adopt, amend and implement legislation in line with the CRPD, and that a great majority of the legal framework remains in many respects incompatible with the CRPD. For the preparation of these two reports, during 2013, the Cyprus Confederation of Disabled People’s Organisations and the Committee for the Protection of the Rights of People with Intellectual Disabilities prepared their own Opinion Documents regarding the First Report of Cyprus for the Implementation of the UN CRPD, prepared by the Department for Social Inclusion of People with Disabilities. Both bodies expressed their considerations and highlighted points of disagreement and suggestions in relation to particular Articles of the Report as well as for the National Disability Action Plan. These documents were forwarded to the Monitoring and Coordinating Mechanisms, i.e. the Department for Social Inclusion of People with Disabilities and the Pancyprian Council for Persons with Disabilities. In addition, the Cyprus Confederation of Disabled People’s Organisations organised a 'Workshop Opening Process of Preparation of the Shadow Report on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities of Cyprus' on 19 December 2015, aiming at finalising the preparation of the shadow report, by starting with the analysis of the articles of the Convention, with the participation of all disability organisations in the country. The results of the workshop will be announced on the Confederation's website. These efforts and involvement of the disability organisations resulted in the establishment of the Pancyprian Alliance for Disability in 2015. In April 2018 the Pancyprian Alliance for Disability expressed their disagreement to the First Disability Strategy 2018-2028 and the Second Action Plan 2018-2020 advanced by the Department for Social Inclusion of People with Disabilities. The position of the Alliance was communicated to the President of the Republic of Cyprus through a memo report accompanied by an Alternative Action Plan, and it highlights the absence of consultation with the disability organisations in Cyprus, and the perpetuation of existing medical model approaches which should have been substituted by a human rights approach and philosophy in the Strategy and Action Plan documents.

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Update date: Wed, 2018-08-29

B. General legal framework

B1. Anti-discrimination legislation

The People with Disabilities Law of 2000 (N.127(I)/2000) legitimises disabled people’s rights. This legislation relies upon the principle of non-discrimination and it safeguards disabled people’s inclusion in social community life and employment. According to the 2000 People with Disabilities Law (127(I)/2000), disability is described as any kind of insufficiency or impairment which causes permanent or long lasting bodily, intellectual or mental restriction to the person and, taking into consideration her personal history and other elements of the person, substantially reduces or excludes the possibility to perform one or more activities or functions which are considered natural and substantial for the quality of life of each person of the same age, who does not experience such insufficiency or impairment. The basic rights of disabled people recorded in the 2000 People with Disabilities Law (127(I)/2000) are: early identification and treatment; provision of personal support; accessibility in the built environment; educational integration; accessibility in information and communication, vocational training and rehabilitation; decent living conditions; establishment of personal and family life and participation in cultural, social, sports, religious and entertainment activities. In addition, the Combating of Racism and Other Discrimination (Commissioner) Law of 2004 (42 (I) / 2004) provides for the protection against discrimination in the grounds of race, community, language, colour, religion, political or other opinion, and national or ethnic origin, disability, age and sexual orientation.

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Update date: Fri, 2017-08-18

B2. Recognition of legal capacity

The Proof Law of 1989 (Chapter 9) regulates the capacity of people with disabilities to act as a witness in court and take part in other legal procedures. According to this law, people with hearing or expression difficulties who are called to witness in legal procedures have the right to give their testimony in writing or through sign language. According to the same law, all persons can participate in legal procedures unless the court believes that they have serious difficulty (such as intellectual disability) which may hinder their participation in legal procedures. In addition, according to the Law for People with Intellectual Disabilities of 1989-2018, 'legal capacity' of people with intellectual disabilities is decided by the competent court of justice in cases where this is requested by relatives, institutions or other involved agents.

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Update date: Wed, 2018-08-29

B3. Accessibility of voting and elections

Assistance during voting is provided to disabled people under the provisions of the amending Laws N.107(I)/1992 and N.108(I)/1992 , of The Law on Election of Members of the House of Representatives Act of 1979 (72/1979) and The Elections (of the President and Vice-President of the Republic) Laws 1959 to 1998 (37/1959), respectively. These amendments safeguard the right of people with visual impairment and people who cannot vote independently, to vote with the support of another person, while their vote is kept confidential. The legislation safeguards their right to vote with the help of an assistant of their choice or to ask for assistance from the state officials who are responsible for the elections.

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Update date: Thu, 2017-06-01

B4. Official recognition of sign language

Sign language is recognised as an official language by the Recognition of the Sign Language Act of 2006 (N.66(I)/2006). This status is not currently reflected in other relevant (disability) laws but it is reflected in the benefits provision policies of the Department for Social Inclusion of People with Disabilities for the criteria of funding for Sign Language Interpreters.

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Update date: Wed, 2018-08-29

B5. National disability strategy and action plan

In December 2018 the Department for Social Inclusion of People with Disabilities published the Second Disability Action Plan 2018-2020 and the First Disability Strategy 2018-2028, both of which were approved by the Council of Ministers on 19 December 2018, and they are referred to as documents in alignment to the UN CRPD. The documents were developed after the consultation with the disability organisations in Cyprus which however express their disagreement even after the finalisation and publication of the Strategy and the Action Plan. The First Disability Strategy represents a ten year framework based on the principles of the Ministry of Finance strategic planning and it is connected to the UN recommendations to Cyprus for the Rights of People with Disabilities as well as the European Disability Strategy 2010-2020. The aim of the First Disability Strategy in Cyprus is to identify the vision, the values and the strategic objectives of the Republic of Cyprus for the implementation of the rights of the citizens with disabilities, by providing guidelines to all competent agencies for actions that will add value to and further improve the quality of life of persons with disabilities.
The Second Disability Action Plan 2018-2020 includes 46 actions that are already in progress, as well as 40 new actions. The main expected outcomes of the suggested actions involve the promotion of:

  • independent living, social inclusion and social protection of persons with disabilities
  • employment and professional education
  • education services
  • accessibility in physical environment, in transport and in information
  • health and rehabilitation service provision
  • information and awareness-raising activities regarding disability issues

The Second National Action Plan describes specific planned actions with the competent implementing entity, timetable and expected results for each one of the Thematic Areas. The majority of the disability rights movement in Cyprus represented by the Pancyprian Alliance for Disability expressed their disagreement with the suggested Strategy and the Action Plan, and submitted an Alternative Action Plan to the President of the Republic of Cyprus in April 2018, accompanied by a Memo on the Alliance’s concerns. The Memo highlights the absence of the consultation with the disability organisations in Cyprus, and the perpetuation of the medical model approach which should have been substituted by a human rights approach and philosophy in the Strategy and the Action Plan documents. The Alliance also suggests that the Second Action Plan includes provisions that are already available by the state and should be considered as the state’s responsibility under the UN CRPD, for which disability organisations also request amendments. The reports and alternative action plan prepared by the Pancyprian Alliance have not yet been communicated to the UN Committee and they are not included in the UN database, but they are published on the website of the Cyprus Confederation of Disability Organisations.

Links

Update date: Wed, 2018-08-29

C. Accessibility

C1. Transport accessibility

Public transportation is an area under continuous development in Cyprus. The provisions of Articles 2 and 3 of the EU Directive 2001/85/EC, relating to special provisions for vehicle used for the carriage of passengers comprising more than eight seats in addition to the driver’s seat, regulates the accessibility of persons with disability to vehicles and especially to buses and coaches and generally to vehicles for more than eight passengers. The Minister of Communications and Public Works, under the power vested in him by Article 7 of the Approval of the Type of Vehicles Law 2005, issued the Buses and Coaches Order for harmonisation purpose with the above-mentioned EU Directive. The Order was issued in the form of Regulations (525/2003) and provides that the technical specifications and requirements of manufacture and the technical monitoring for the granting of approval of the type regarding buses and coaches are those specified in the above EU Directive. Also, Article 7 of the Persons with Disabilities Law of 2000 refers to the obligation of public transportation to meet the technical specifications and requirements regarding the entry and mobility of persons with disabilities that are set out in the Buses and Coaches Order. According to Article 4 of the People with Disabilities Law of 2000, disabled persons have the right to accessible public transport means. In the last two years, the Republic of Cyprus has subsidised public transport companies for mass purchases of fully accessible new buses. The Design Bureau (Ministry of Communications and Works) is involved in pilot programmes and undertakes important initiatives for the improvement of transport accessibility for disabled people. The Department for Social Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities operates two schemes relevant to the transportation of people with disabilities. The first scheme offers funding and the right to buy a tax free car to certain groups of disabled people. The second scheme provides funding for the transportation needs of particular groups of people with disabilities. In relation to the standards, the Cyprus Standards Organisation is the responsible information service in Cyprus regarding the International and European Standards, and is also responsible for the issues of accessibility.

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Update date: Wed, 2018-08-29

C2. Built environment accessibility

Regulation 61 of the Roads and Buildings Regulations of 1999 sets accessibility standards for newly built buildings (after 1999) or buildings modified after 1999 in order to safeguard accessibility for all disabled people. According to the regulations, all public buildings must follow the standards for becoming accessible to all disabled people. More specifically the regulations apply to:

  • all public buildings and/or buildings used by the public;
  • shopping centres;
  • buildings that hold shops and / or office premises;
  • blocks of residences with five or more residence units and / or in buildings with more than five required parking places;
  • educational institutions including students' accommodation buildings, sports centres and swimming pools;
  • clinics, medical and rehabilitation or other diagnostic centres;
  • industrial buildings with an area of greater than 600m² or with more than ten employees, as well as in group of labs of which the total area is greater than 600m²;
  • in any other building for which the responsible authority decides that this regulation should apply.

There is no time scale for the implementation of this Law. The Department of Building and Housing (Department of Urban Planning) is responsible for the monitoring of implementation of this regulation of the Law. The Cyprus Standards Organisation is the responsible information service in Cyprus regarding the International and European Standards, also responding to issues of accessibility.

Links

Update date: Fri, 2017-08-18

C3. ICT and Web accessibility

There are no specific legislative or regulatory measures regarding Web accessibility for public or private websites in Cyprus, but two national e-accessibility strategies (E-Inclusion and Digital Strategy of Cyprus) which aim to promote ICT and web accessibility standards were adopted. In education, assistive technology is available to students under the general provisions of the N13(I) of 1999 Education for Children with Special Needs Law (Article 17.2) and the corresponding Regulations (Reg. 186/2001, Article 49.1), which set out the provision of necessary equipment and new technology. These two strategies indirectly include the provision of assistive technology for children with disabilities in public schools. With regards to other technology services, Article 8 of the Persons with Disabilities Law of 2000 to 2017 sets out general obligations on the field of telecommunication and information. The relevant disability provisions in Directive 2007/65/EC concerning the pursuit of television and broadcasting activities was transposed to The Radio and Television Organisations Laws of 1998 to 2017 (N.7(I)/1998). Applicable provisions for all audiovisual media services are provided in Chapter IIA of the Directive. Article 3c of this Chapter encourages the media service providers to ensure that their services are gradually made accessible to people with visual or hearing disabilities. This article was harmonised with Article 30B of the Radio and Television Laws of 1998 to 2017. In addition, Article 30e (c) (ii) of the Law states that audiovisual commercial communications shall not include or promote any discrimination on the basis of disability. In addition, the Public Electronic Communications and Postal Services Law of 2004 (Law 112 (I) / 2004) includes a number of references to accessibility of these services to persons with disabilities. Article 39(2h) indicates that the Electronic Communication Commissionaire can impose a number of regulations including accessibility terms for people with disabilities. Article 70 (3e)(A(1)(2) indicates that communication providers should regularly inform people with disabilities about the details of products and services designed for disability and also offer quality accessible products and services. Similarly, Article 71 of the same law specifically provides for adaptations for people with disabilities of the available electronic, telecommunication and postal communication services, and Article 112 refers to the accessibility of public use phone stations. Finally, Article 113 of the same law regarding telecommunication facilities at the national level, provides that persons with mobility disability are beneficiaries of exemption from the fixed charges for one mobile telephone, landline and the internet. Deaf persons are afforded certain facilities with regards to the fax. Persons with visual disability are also exempted from the charges incurred when they call the directory service of the Cyprus Telecommunications Authority (CYTA) for information. Articles 8.2 and 4 of the EU Directives 2002/21/EC for electronic communications networks and services have been transposed into national Regulations (Reg. 258/2006 and Reg. 259/2006). The national regulatory authorities shall promote competition in the provision of electronic communications networks, electronic communications services and associated facilities and services by ensuring that disabled users derive maximum benefit in terms of choice, price, and quality (article 8.2). The national regulatory authorities shall promote the interests of the citizens of the European Union by addressing the needs of specific social groups, in particular disabled users (article 8.4). The Cyprus Standards Organisation is the responsible information service in Cyprus regarding the International and European Standards, and is also responsible for accessibility issues. Cyprus has signed but not yet ratified the Marrakesh Treaty to Facilitate Access to Published Works for Persons Who Are Blind, Visually Impaired or Otherwise Print Disabled.

Links

Update date: Wed, 2018-08-29

D. Independent living

D1. Choice of living arrangements

Disabled people have the right to decide about their living arrangements, although in some cases other stakeholders are involved in making this choice. In May 2018 the Department for Social Inclusion of People with Disabilities launched the New Scheme for the Inclusion of People with Severe Disabilities in Assisted Living Programmes. The Scheme aims at strengthening support for people with severe disabilities who need specialised services to live in the community with security, dignity, quality of live, competence development and autonomy, through assisted living programmes. The beneficiaries are Cypriots and European citizens who have resided permanently in Cyprus for a continuous period of five years just before they apply, as well as refugees and protected people from other countries. The programmes of assisted living will operate in family-like houses in the community with a limited number of residents (up to eight persons), based on their individual needs and preferences. The residences will fulfil the criteria of the Housing for Elder and Disabled People Law of 1991 (N. 222/91 to N. 64(I)/1994), and will be provided with the necessary accommodations for living, mobility, and leisure and personal development. Beneficiaries can apply for this programme and applications are examined by the Department for Social Inclusion of People with Disabilities, which will first conduct a disability assessment through the New System for the Assessment of Disability and Functionality at the Disability Assessment Centres in Cyprus. Each assisted living programme will be developed based on the needs of the residents in a house, and the programme will be assigned by the Department to external agencies of the private sector, including NGOs through public procurement or through state funding schemes. The right of disabled people to independent living is generally addressed in the People with Disabilities Law of 2000 (N.127(I)/2000), which is the most important piece of legislation in Cyprus regarding disabled people’s rights. This law relies upon the principle of non-discrimination and safeguards disabled people’s rights to independent living and inclusion in social community life and employment. Apart from this general piece of legislation, there is specific legislation for accommodation, housing and the provision of care for disabled people or people from other vulnerable groups. The Housing for Elder and Disabled People Law of 1991 (N. 222/91 to N. 64(I)/1994) is relevant to disabled people’s accommodation. This law legitimises the establishment and functioning of private settings for older or disabled people. According to this law, these settings are expected to provide accommodation to more than five individuals and they are regulated through state inspection. Another piece of legislation is the Adult Centres Law (N. 38(I)/97) of 1997 which legitimises the establishment of day centres that provide food, clothing, entertainment and access to other activities any time during the day. In addition, the Social Welfare Services of the Ministry of Labour and Social Insurance provides support services of care and housing to older people and people with disabilities, in order to avoid institutionalisation and improve living in own social environment, which include: (a) Daily care programmes, that provide an opportunity for elderly people or people with disabilities to be served by the Housing for Older People or Housing for Adults centres during the day. Adult Centres, which are operated by Community Welfare Councils and are subsidised through the Government Grants Scheme, provide elderly and disabled people with several services during the day, such as food, laundry, employment, entertainment, etc.; (b) Institutionalised/residential care that is provided to people who need constant care and whose needs cannot be met by their families, nor by support services offered in the environment in which they live.

Links

Update date: Wed, 2018-08-29

D2. De-institutionalisation

De-institutionalisation is currently the stated policy of the Cypriot state. It is included in the Second Disability Action Plan in the following ways:

  • under the actions in progress of the Ministry of Labour and Social Insurance, Action 7: The operation of “Ledra” Assisted Living House for eight persons with severe disabilities and Support in Living to former residents of the Vocational Rehabilitation Centre of the People with Disabilities (that closed down). The action is assigned to the Department for Social Inclusion of People with Disabilities with a budget of EUR 300,000 per year for the period of 2018-2020. The expected outcomes are: (a) the de-institutionalisation of eight people with severe disabilities and behavioural disorders who lived in Room 14 of the Athalassa’s Hospital and their support for living in a house within the community; and (b) the provision of support services for living in houses in the community to five persons that have been de-institutionalised from the Boarding House of the former Centre of Vocational Rehabilitation of People with Disabilities.
  • under the actions in progress of the Ministry of Health, ‘Action 46: De- institutionalisation of people with mental disabilities from the Athalassa’s Hospital’. The action is assigned to the Mental Health Services within the timeline of 2018-2020. The expected outcome is identified as the community (re)inclusion of institutionalised persons with mental disabilities, in assisted living structures with the provision of the required nursing and support staff services.
  • under the new actions of the Ministry of Health, ‘Action 22: Creation of new assisted living houses in community and development of a new legislative framework for de-institutionalisation and independent/assisted living. The action is assigned to the Department for Social Inclusion of People with Disabilities with a budget of EUR 1,500,000 per year for the period of 2018-2020, through the European Social Fund. The expected outcome is the inclusion of 40 persons with severe disabilities in assisted living programmes and the development of an institutional and legal framework for the creation and operation of structures and services for independent /assisted living, mainly for persons with severe disabilities.

However, until recently de-institutionalisation was quite problematic as there were no sufficient structures supporting the transition from institutions to community life. For example, adults with severe intellectual disabilities and/or mental health problems who have completed their treatment in a hospital or in an institution are often expected to move to old people’s homes. This placement is considered a type of transitional accommodation which will lead to independent living or the return of the person to the family home. There is no indication of the degree of choice of people with mental health problems regarding where to move after the institution, but the above measures and actions have recently been designed and implemented to respond to these challenges. The Safeguarding and Protecting the Rights of Patients and Related Issues Law of 2005 (N. 1(Ι) 2005) legitimises the rights of people who are treated in medical institutions and applies to people with mental health problems. Nevertheless, in May 2018, the Department for Social Inclusion of People with Disabilities launched the New Scheme for the Inclusion of People with Severe Disabilities in Assisted Living Programmes, for which individuals can apply and decision is made upon the outcomes of the disability assessment through the New System for the Assessment of Disability and Functionality in Cyprus.

Links

Update date: Wed, 2018-08-29

D3. Quality of social services

There are no specific independent mechanisms to ensure the quality of community based assistance and services and their impact on quality of life. The Department for Social Inclusion of People with Disabilities will monitor the Programmes of the New Scheme for the Inclusion of People with Severe Disabilities in Assisted Living in collaboration with other state services. Its representatives will visit and inspect the efficiency and quality of the programmes offered by the competent agencies. In addition, the state, via the Social Welfare Services of the Ministry of Labour and Social Insurance, offers three types of support to elderly and disabled people: home care; day care; and institutional care. Home care is offered to people who have extremely low income and are already recipients of guaranteed minimum income. It may involve cleaning services and help with shopping or other activities. Day care is provided in day centres which are maintained by the Social Welfare Councils or by the municipalities and are often funded by the state. People visiting day centres are provided with food and clothing and they participate in entertainment activities. State institutional care is coordinated by the Social Welfare Services and other institutions belonging to the private sector. The Social Welfare Services register and inspect private and community homes for elderly and disabled people and their carers, according to the Housing for Elder and Disabled People Law of 1991 (N. 222/91 to N. 64(I)/1994) to ensure a good level of service. The Social Welfare Services provide residential care to state residences. They also grant alimony in approved Community and private Houses and in houses of approved carers. Complaints with regard to community social services can be referred either to the Social Welfare Services, or directly to the Independent Authority for the Promotion of the Rights of People with Disabilities, which is the independent body for monitoring the implementation of the UN CRPD in Cyprus.

Links

Update date: Wed, 2018-08-29

D4. Provision of assistive devices at home

The main schemes aiming to facilitate disabled people’s lives by providing them with necessary assistive devices are provided by the Department for Social Inclusion of People with Disabilities. The Financial Assistance for Technical Equipment Scheme is intended for disabled people who need technical means for their autonomy at the workplace and at home, including assistive devices (and technology). This is a national scheme targeting Cypriot disabled people. According to the scheme, eligible applicants are entitled to funding up to 80% (and sometimes 100%) of the total cost of assistive devices, given that the amount falls within the amount set by the evaluation committee which is published in the list of maximum funding level per assistive device. The technical means belong to the disabled person but it is expected that any unused equipment is returned to the Department for Social Inclusion of People with Disabilities for loan to other individuals, under the scheme for Loan of Technical Means. In addition, the Department holds two schemes for the provision and loan of wheelchairs.

Links

Update date: Wed, 2018-08-29

D5. Availability of personal assistance schemes

The personal assistance allowance is under the provisions of the Guaranteed Minimum Income introduced by the Ministry of Labour, Welfare and Social Insurance and passed as The Guaranteed Minimum Income (GMI) and the Social Benefits Act of 2014 on 10 July 2014 from the House of Representatives. With the implementation of the GMI law, the personal assistance allowance (in terms of public allowance) that was under the provision of the Social Welfare Services (SWS), and more specifically is a part of the Public Allowance as this is provided by the Public/Social Assistance and Services Law 95(I) 2006 was abolished, and replaced by the disability/public allowance included in GMI. Personal assistance is offered in various ways based on the needs of the individual who applies for public assistance. These may include: carers employed by the Social Welfare Services, and carers from the private sector (either Cypriot or from abroad) paid by the disability/public allowance provided to the individual. Personal home care services include help with: personal hygiene, house cleaning, laundry, health services/hospital escort, other responsibilities (e.g. bill payments, shopping etc.), as well as training of family members at home and support for work done by family members.
In addition, the Department for Social Inclusion of People with Disabilities offers personal assistance schemes specifically to people with paraplegia and quadriplegia, namely the Care Allowances for Quadriplegics and Paraplegics. These groups of people with disabilities are excluded from the Public Assistance Allowance. People with visual impairments working in the civil service are entitled to a personal assistant, and are also entitled to a specific funding scheme for people with visual impairment. Also, there is a scheme for financial assistance to the organisations of persons with disabilities for hiring a social assistant to accompany their members to hospitals, public services, shopping, sport and recreation activities, etc.

Links

Update date: Wed, 2018-08-29

D6. Income maintenance

In July 2014, the Guaranteed Minimum Income (GMI) and the Social Benefits Act came into force, which safeguard a minimum living status for every family under particular criteria, including individuals with disabilities. The Public Assistance and Services Law of 2006 (N.95(Ι)/2006) sets out the criteria for individuals to be eligible for a public assistance allowance and to be entitled to social services (recently changed to Guaranteed Minimum Income provision and legislation). All kinds of pensions received from the social insurance fund are considered as income for the purposes of the eligibility criteria for the GMI. Disabled people are entitled to the disability pension, which consists of a basic pension and a supplementary pension. The disability pension for people with less than 100% disability is paid proportionally. However, if the disabled person is considered permanently incapable to work, the disability pension is always equivalent to that paid for 100% disability. An allowance for constant care is payable for beneficiaries of a disability pension requiring constant care and is equal to 55% of the basic disability pension for full (100%) disability. The disability pension may be claimed until the age of 63 (no minimum age is stated). In addition, the Department for Social Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities offers the severe motor disability allowance and care allowance for paraplegic and quadriplegic persons. Persons with severe motor disabilities are entitled to a monthly allowance which aims to provide financial assistance for their additional needs. The Provision of Special Allowance to Blind Persons Law of 2011 (11(I)/2011) provides a monthly allowance to blind persons from the Department for Social inclusion of Persons with Disabilities. In 2013, some of the funding schemes have changed due to the financial crisis and in the framework of the Memorandum of Understanding with the Troika. These include: reduction of the allowance for the provision of a disability car, abolition of the subsidisation of vacations schemes for persons with disabilities and reduction of a number of benefits included in the Social Assistance and Services Law (such as Christmas and Easter Allowances).

Links

Update date: Wed, 2018-08-29

D7. Additional costs

There are some schemes to promote employment or cover additional costs, such as a mobility (transportation) allowance; an allowance for the provision of a disability car; financial assistance for the purchase of a wheelchair; schemes for wheelchair loans and financial assistance for the provision of technical means and other aids. These allowances are paid by the state. Each scheme requires a distinct application process, after which the eligible applicants are allocated the stated funding, but the applicant needs to go through the system for disability assessment just once. In 2013, some of the funding schemes have changed due to the financial crisis and in the framework of the Memorandum of Understanding with the Troika. These include: reduction in the Allowance for the Provision of a Disability Car, abolition of the Subsidisation of Vacations Schemes for Persons with Disabilities and reduction of a number of benefits included in the Social Assistance and Services Law (such as Christmas and Easter Allowances). In addition, in 2014 the Memorandum imposed the abolition of the social cohesion benefits (which also affected the allowances of people with disability) which took effect from 1 January 2014, the main change of which includes the Guaranteed Minimum Income.

Links

Update date: Wed, 2018-08-29

D8. Retirement income

People with disabilities are entitled to the retirement pension if they have been entitled to the disability pension immediately before reaching the age of 63, or if they are between the ages of 63 and 65 and they are entitled to the disability pension. The Memorandum of Understanding on Specific Economic Policy Conditionality includes measures to ensure that the total annual public pension benefits shall not exceed 50% of the annual pensionable salary earned at the time of retirement, which affects disabled people's entitlement to the retirement pension, but not to the disability pension itself.

Links

Update date: Wed, 2018-08-29

E. Education

E1. Special schools

The Education of Children with Special Needs Law of 1999 (N.113(I)/1999) legitimises special schooling as an option for disabled children who are considered not able to be educated in a mainstream school. Children go through an assessment procedure and regional Committees for Special Education recommend either placement in a special or mainstream school. Parents of disabled children have the right to appeal a decision about placement in a special school, and the regional Committee will re-examine the child’s placement in the presence of the parent(s). In this case, the parents’ appeal is submitted to the Central Committee for Special Education which is responsible for the regional committees.

Links

Update date: Wed, 2018-08-29

E2. Mainstream schools

The Education of Children with Special Needs Law of 1999 (N.113(I)/1999) legitimises the integration of disabled children into mainstream schools. The most important features of the law are: (a) the statement that integration should be the rule and special schooling the exception ; (b) the introduction of the term ‘special needs’; (c) state responsibility for special education provision between the ages of three and 18 years with an extension of education up to 21 years where it is deemed necessary; (d) the recruitment of Special Educational Needs Coordinators; (e) the establishment of an assessment procedure and; (f) the right of parents to participate in the assessment procedure and appeal when necessary. The overall structure of the Law creates a special education mechanism controlled by the Ministry of Education and Culture. In particular, it sets out the criteria for the establishment of special schools (Part II); the formation of Regional Committees of Special Education (Part III); the identification of children with special needs through a set assessment procedure (Part IV); the provision of special education in general and in special schools (Part V); the formation of a Council of Special Education (Part VI); and the formation of a Departmental Committee of Special Education (Part VII). The Educational system in Cyprus is centralised and thus any support in the mainstream school is provided by the Ministry of Education and Culture. Special Education support teachers and Speech and Language Therapists are appointed by the Ministry in mainstream schools who individually support children with disabilities based on an Individualised Educational Programme (IEP). The common practice is that children receive individualised support in a resource room some hours per week depending on their needs. In addition, some mainstream schools also hold a special unit, which is a classroom of a small number of children with disabilities (usually up to 5-8) that are supported by a special education teacher and one or two teacher assistants. In the case of the special unit, children are integrated in a mainstream classroom for a few hours per week. Any additional support such as assistive technology or support staff for health or physical disabilities is also examined by the regional Committee and provided directly by the Ministry. In January 2018, the Ministry of Education and Culture announced a process of public consultation for the development of new policy and new legislation for the education of children with disabilities. The consultation concluded in one month period.

Links

Update date: Wed, 2018-08-29

E3. Sign language and Braille in school

Children have the right to learn Braille or sign language in mainstream schools. Children can also learn Braille or sign language in School for the Blind or in School for the Deaf. The Recognition of the Cyprus Sign Language Law of 2006 (66 (I) / 2006) suggests that a new legislation should be established in order to introduce Sign Language as one of the optional languages taught in school. However there is now specific legislation to safeguarding sign language and Braille teaching and use in schools. Nevertheless, the Regulations for the Education of Children with Special Needs Law of 1999 (Reg. 186/2001) ensures that disabled children are examined in ways that respect their communication needs (e.g. to change a written test into Braille or have a sign language interpreter, even though not directly specified in the education Law and regulations).

Links

Update date: Wed, 2018-08-29

E4. Vocational training

Currently, there are no specific laws regarding non-discrimination on behalf of vocational training providers, other than the general Anti-discrimination Law (People with Disabilities Law of 2000). Support regarding vocational training use to fall within the scopes of the Centre for Vocational Rehabilitation of People with Disabilities, which used to offer training in areas that have traditionally been considered to facilitate disabled people’s employment (e.g. carpentering, gardening, etc.). Funding of the centre is under the provision of the Special Fund for the Centre of Vocational Rehabilitation of People with Disabilities Act 2000 (103(I)/2000), and the Budget for the Special Fund for the Centre of Vocational Rehabilitation of People with Disabilities Act (latest 2017) which is assigned every year. However, in 2015 the Centre was closed, though it still exists in paper as an association, and the legislation about its budget has not yet been abolished. In addition, the Department for Social Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities launched a vocational training scheme to enhance and diversify the training opportunities for persons with disabilities. The scheme was offered for two years and provided additional and more advanced vocational trainings than the ones offered by the Centre for the Vocational Rehabilitation of Disabled People (that was recently closed). This was achieved by funding training costs at relevant institutions and providing employment and career advancement opportunities for people with disabilities. People with disabilities have also the opportunity to attend about 50 classes (including vocational educational classes) at 'The adult education centres', which are offered free of charge for disadvantaged groups of people including people with disabilities. The Department for Social Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities also holds schemes for the enhancement of vocational training and experience for people with disabilities which include the Scheme for the creation and operation of small units for self-employment purposes, the Vocational Training Scheme and the Supported Employment Scheme (indirect vocational rehabilitation). An additional policy measure towards the improvement of Vocational Education and Training (VET), was the restructuring of Upper Secondary and Secondary Technical and Vocational Education (STVE) and the introduction of the Post-Secondary Institutes of Vocational Education and Training (PSITVE), which are implemented through the ESF funding, after the Council of Ministers' decision in February 2012, and attracted the interest of young people with disabilities. In addition, the Cyprus Authority for Human Resources Development offers a number of programmes for the apprenticeship of the Unemployed and Newcomers in the Labour Market, especially those referring to GMI beneficiaries (which indirectly consider people with disabilities), as well as schemes specifically to support the training and employment for people with disabilities.

Links

Update date: Wed, 2018-08-29

E5. Higher education

The universities’ disability policy and practice are based on the current legislation of the Ministry of Education and Culture (N13(I) of 1999 Education Law) and the provisions of the Department for Social Inclusion of People with Disabilities. Additionally, the universities have their own regulations as internal policy. The Pancyprian University Entry Examinations Law (N.22(I)/2006) legitimises disabled candidates’ rights during the Pancyprian University Entry Examinations, which apply for all state universities. For example, this law safeguards their right to use individual equipment during the exam. Other accommodations are also made, according to the candidate’s disability-related needs. Each university follows its own policy of providing support to disabled students’ throughout their studies. These may include some provisions for physical (mobility) and cognitive (facilitations in exams, i.e. personal assistants) accessibility, as well as access to mainstream technology. The University of Cyprus, the oldest state university in Cyprus, developed the ‘Regulations for Additional Positions for Students Belonging to Special Categories’. According to the Regulations, 6% of all undergraduate positions are allocated to disabled people or people with other problems. Entry for these applicants is subject to ‘special criteria’, which means that these students may be allowed lower attainment in entry examinations compared with other applicants. Furthermore, decisions about placement are subject to the availability of positions, and therefore applicants may be offered placement in a department that was not their preferred choice. Once students are enrolled in any programme of studies, they may attend preparatory seminars offered by the Centre of Teaching and Learning at the University of Cyprus. These seminars help learners to develop skills for studying at the University level (i.e. skills for academic writing, presentation, library use etc.). Disabled students are eligible for individualised support offered by the University (personal assistants). Other private universities have established their own regulations to support students with disabilities, each under the provision of the Student Welfare and Special Educational Needs Unit for Students.

Links

Update date: Wed, 2018-08-29

F. Employment

F1. Non-discrimination in employment

The People with Disabilities Act of 2000 (N.127(I)/2000) legitimises disabled people’s rights, including their rights in employment. This legislation relies upon the principle of non-discrimination and it safeguards disabled people’s inclusion in social-community life and employment. Regarding employment, the Act legitimises equal treatment in the procedure of applying for a job, hiring, promoting, firing, compensating and other terms and privileges concerning employment. It also encourages the development of vocational rehabilitation programmes to motivate prospective employers of disabled people and the establishment of new work positions for disabled people in the civil service. The Act clearly forbids any kind of direct or indirect discrimination in all areas related to employment and working conditions.

Links

Update date: Wed, 2018-08-29

F2. Public employment services

Public Employment Services, under the Department of Labour, provide employment advice and support services to disabled people in mainstream employment. The Recruitment of Persons with Disabilities in the Wider Public Sector (Special Provisions) Law of 2009 (N.146(I)/2009) stipulates that persons with disabilities shall be hired in employment positions in the public sector that shall cover 10% of the number of vacancies, provided that the number of persons with disabilities hired under this Law shall not exceed 7% of the total number of employees per Public Service on 31 December of the preceding year of each recruitment procedure, or in the case of the Educational Service on 1 September of the preceding year of each recruitment procedure, and provided that the persons with disabilities fulfil cumulatively a certain number of predefined objective requirements. The Appointment of Trained Blind Telephone Operators in the Public Sector (Special Provisions) Law of 1988 (N. 17/1988) provides that persons with visual disability have exclusive priority for appointment to all posts of telephone operators in the public sector. The same Law provides that, in case of lack of qualified candidates with visual disability, the appointing boards or authorities may select candidates with any other disability.

Links

Update date: Wed, 2018-08-29

F3. Workplace adaptations

The general principles outlining reasonable accommodation in the workplace are legitimised by the People with Disabilities Law of 2000 (N.127(I)/2000, amended in 2007) and provides for flexible work arrangements which specifies that the equality treatment authority should be applied by referring to the relevant EU direction. Also the UN CRPD ratification law clearly provides for reasonable accommodations (including flexible working arrangements). In addition, adaptations on the built environment of the workplace are under the provisions of the Roads and Buildings Regulations of 1999 (Reg. 61.H) and the guidelines of the Design Bureau for the Accessibility of Persons with Disability. The Department for Social Inclusion of People with Disabilities runs the 'Financial assistance for technical equipment and other assistive means scheme‘, which finances personal equipment for disabled people on an individual basis.

Links

Update date: Wed, 2018-08-29

F4. Financial incentives

The Department for Social Inclusion of People with Disabilities runs specific employment schemes that provide financial incentives for the employment of disabled workers in the open labour market. These programmes are:

  • scheme for supported employment: under which individuals with severe disabilities are employed in the open market with the support of a carer/support staff;
  • scheme for the development of small units for self-employment of people with disabilities: aims to increase the motivation of people with disabilities to create their own employment units and to be integrated in the labour market. It provides a total funding of up to EUR 8,543 to individuals with disabilities (of 16-63 years of age) who cannot afford any type of self-employment, with a priority given to people with severe disabilities and/or with intellectual disabilities.

In addition, the Department of Labour of the Ministry of Labour and Social Insurance holds a Scheme for the Provision for Incentives for the Employment of People with Disabilities. The scheme is disability specific within the National Strategy of Social Policy 2014-2020, and it aims to encourage employers to employ people with disabilities and combat the reluctance to do so either due to the view that disabled people are not productive or that they are more costly to employ. A Similar Scheme for Incentives for the Employment of People with Chronic Diseases is also available. Also, the Recruitment of Persons with Disabilities in the Public Sector (Special Provisions) Law (N. 146(I)/2009) is an important piece of legislation introducing a hiring quota of 10% of disabled people in the public sector. In summary, this law concerns disabled people who have an impairment that reduces the possibility of their finding and maintaining a job. Applicants are expected to hold all the necessary qualifications for the job, to pass any written or oral exams required for the job and to be able to respond to the duties entailed in the job. The process, as defined by the law, necessitates that the applicants go through a committee set up by the Department for Social Inclusion of People with Disabilities that is expected to assess their disability and their suitability for executing the duties of the specific post. Following this, all the applicants are shortlisted and eligible persons with disabilities are recruited to the 10% of the posts available. Disabled people who are appointed to work in the public sector are entitled to assistive technology equipment and other arrangements that will facilitate their work. The Department of Social Inclusion of People with Disabilities is responsible for the implementation of the law. It is also expected to assess its impact and keep all the organisations informed (the Council of Ministers, the Houses of Parliament and the Cyprus Confederation of Organisations of Disabled People). The Employment of People with Disabilities in the Private Sector, based on which private companies are funded with 75% of the annual employee cost (maximum EUR 15,000 annually) for the first 24 months of employment. The scheme was applied from 29 September 2009 to 30 June 2014 (application deadline was set on 31 December 2010), with a total budget of EUR 1,000,000. The initial aim was to employ 120 individuals with disabilities.

Links

Update date: Wed, 2018-08-29

G. Statistics and data collection

G1. Official research

The Independent Authority for the Promotion of the Rights of People with Disabilities (i.e. the Ombudsman and Commissioner for the Protection of Human Rights, being also the Equality Authority in Cyprus), is the independent mechanism for the promotion, protection and monitoring of the UN Convention. Hence, the authority undertakes research on disability equality and collects data for monitoring the implementation of the UN CRPD in Cyprus. This type of official research aims to examine matters relating to violations of the principle of equal treatment or human rights violations under the Convention, on its own initiative or upon the receipt of individual or group complaints. The Independent Authority may, furthermore, conduct investigations of matters pertaining to the Convention, organise awareness-raising campaigns and promote the protection and entrenchment of the rights of persons with disabilities in general. In addition, the Department for Social Inclusion of People with Disabilities holds the responsibility of the focal point for the Republic of Cyprus for the implementation of the UN Convention and is also expected to undertake research on disability equality and to conduct surveys regarding disabled people in Cyprus. Together with the first Report of Cyprus for the Implementation of the UN CRPD, in 2013 the department published a Core Document with general information that completes the initial report and provides information about the demographic, economic, social and cultural situation of people with disabilities in Cyprus, information about the constitutional, political and legal framework of disability issues and finally discusses the issues of human rights. The Department has also developed the new System for the Assessment of Disability and Functioning based on the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health of the World Health Organisation. It is expected that the system will enable the collection of statistics and the development of indicators related to the application of the Convention, by creating a National Register of Disabled People.

Links

Update date: Fri, 2017-08-18

G2. Census data

The Cyprus Statistical Service is the national Census agency for data collection in different areas. No disability specific statistics are available on the website of the Cyprus Statistical Service. Disability is not included in the Demographic Report of 2016, which is the latest available completed Demographic Report in Cyprus. With respect to the latest statistical data of the Cyprus Statistical Service related to the population and social conditions, students with disabilities are included in the Statistics in the Education Report (2014/2015). Also, the Department for Social Inclusion of People with Disabilities reports statistical data on the number of social funding schemes' recipients, available in the Department’s Annual Reports. In July 2013, the Department for Social Inclusion of People with Disabilities published a Core Document with general information on demographic, economic, social and cultural characteristics of people with disabilities in Cyprus, as well as information about the constitutional, political and legal framework of disability issues and discusses human rights issues. The Department has recently implemented a new System for the Assessment of Disability and Functioning based on the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health of the World Health Organisation. It is expected that the new system will provide updated information to all public services related to persons with disabilities. It will thereby provide information on the number, nature and degree of disability and the needs and capabilities of each person so that each person will be given adequate support. It also will enable the collection of statistics and the development of indicators related to the application of the Convention, by creating a National Register of People with Disabilities.

Links

Update date: Wed, 2018-08-29

G3. Labour Force Survey

The annual Labour Force Surveys are prepared by the Cyprus Statistical Service. The Labour Force Survey of 2013 identified people with disabilities under the general groups of people with part-time employment, where 'incapability or disability' was reported as one of the reasons for part-time employment. In the latest LFS data of 2017 people with disabilities are not identified, and no latest report is yet available. In the attached questionnaires for the LFS in 2016, disability is requested/identified under the possible reasons of unemployment, part-time employment or absence (own illness, injury or (temporary) disability). Statistical data of the LFS report (Labour Statistics 2012) regarding people with disabilities mainly refers to statistics about retirement pensions (disablement pension) and statistics about reasons for professional status (part-time, self-employed, employee or unemployed). Finally, no categories of people with disabilities are included in the Labour Force Survey data of the second trimester of 2015 currently available.

Links

Update date: Mon, 2017-06-05

G4. Disability equality indicators

There are no disability equality indicators based on public data sources.

Links

Update date: Mon, 2012-12-03

H. Awareness and external action

H1. Awareness raising programs

The Department for Social Inclusion of People with Disabilities, as well as the Independent Authority for the Promotion of the Rights of People with Disabilities (Office of the Ombudsman and Commission for the Protection and Human Rights), are responsible for raising public awareness on the equality and rights of disabled people. Seminars, day events, round tables, presentations and various publications are organised from time to time for this purpose.

Links

Update date: Wed, 2018-08-29

H2. Training for teachers

Disability awareness/equality issues are a compulsory part of initial teacher training programs for pre-primary and primary school teachers. For example, a number of public and private universities (e.g. the University of Cyprus (public university) and the European University Cyprus (private university) offer compulsory courses on the introduction to Special/Inclusive Education addressed to pre-primary and primary school student-teachers, as well as elective courses in specialisation classes. Similarly, universities also offer postgraduate degrees on subjects of inclusive education and the education of children with disabilities as well as relevant courses to Pre- and In-Service Teacher Training Programmes (for both primary and secondary education teachers). In addition, the Ministry of Education and Culture and the Cyprus Pedagogical Institute organise in-service teacher training seminars on special needs education and disability issues available to primary and secondary school teachers. Disabled people are not generally involved in these programmes as teacher trainers.

Links

Update date: Fri, 2017-08-18

H3. Training for lawyers

According to the Cyprus Bar Association and the Cyprus Bar Council, disability awareness/equality issues are not part of the initial or in-service training of lawyers. At the university level, the undergraduate and graduate programmes in Law offered by public and private universities do not include any particular courses on disability/equality issues. The only relevant courses mentioned are related to Human Rights Law and United Nations Law.

Links

Update date: Wed, 2018-08-29

H4. Training for doctors

Currently, the University of Cyprus (public university) and two private Universities (European University Cyprus and the University of Nicosia) are operating Medical Schools in Cyprus. Their publicly available programmes of study, however, do not include any particular courses on disability/equality issues. The only relevant courses mentioned are related to Sociology in Medicine. Training of doctors is offered and certified in public hospitals. According to the Cyprus Medical Association, disability assessment and training presently is not based on the International Classification of Functionality, Disability and Health (ICF) issued by the World Health Organisation. Awareness and training of doctors and other health professionals on ICF, is part of the new System for the Assessment of Disability and Functionality of persons with disabilities, developed by the Department for Social Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities. In addition, other associations and networks of doctors in collaboration with parents’ associations, are sometimes offering seminars related to disability (especially for children) to medical staff, parents and doctors.

Links

Update date: Wed, 2018-08-29

H5. Training for engineers

The Department of Multimedia and Graphic Design of the Cyprus University of Technology offers a compulsory Universal Design course for undergraduate students. Disability awareness is not a part of other engineering or relevant training, and studies in any other universities, though it may be discussed in courses related to engineering, design (e.g. in computer science courses) and social issues. Information about disability and accessibility issues is made available to engineers and designers from the Design Bureau for the Accessibility of Persons with Disability, of the Ministry of Works which is responsible for the accessibility regulations and measures in public works.

Links

Update date: Wed, 2018-08-29

H6. International development aid

Disability is neither specifically mentioned on the website nor in the documents of the Development Cooperation Service of the Republic of Cyprus (CyprusAid), established by the Council of Ministers in 2005. In addition, disability mainstreaming is not identified in the National Reform Programme and Cyprus objectives, for the Europe 2020 Strategy, in relation to international development aid to other countries. The Operational Programme of 'Employment, Human Resources and Social Cohesion' includes people with disabilities as the beneficiaries in Priority Axis 3: Combating Poverty and Social Exclusion in: (a) Project: System for the Evaluation of Functionality and Disability; and (b) Project: Incentives to industry for new employment positions: for vulnerable groups including people with disabilities. In addition, in relation to international development aid the Cyprus Confederation of Disabled People’s Organisations received funding from international organisations to carry out research and awareness raising activities in collaboration with other countries.

Links

Update date: Wed, 2018-08-29

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