The National Institution for the Protection of Human Rights, established by a Decision of the Council of Ministers for the purpose of protecting human rights, is an independent body, not answerable to the Government. It is an umbrella which comprises the Government bodies which have competence in the matter, on the one hand, and relevant NGOs and professional associations, on the other.
It is composed of two Committees:
- the Monitoring Committee (responsible for monitoring the implementation of the international Conventions on human rights)
- the Steering Committee (responsible for the investigation of violations of human rights).
The President and the members of the Institution are appointed for a period of five years. The Monitoring Committee is composed of representatives of, the Attorney General, a number of Ministries, the Ombudsman and the Commissioner for Personal Data Protection; the Steering Committee is composed of representatives of, the House of Representatives, the University of Cyprus, NGOs engaged in human rights, and professional associations whose participation and contribution may assist the Institution in the achievement of its objectives (e.g. Cyprus Bar Association, Cyprus Medical Association, Union of Cyprus Journalists).
The basic function of the Institution is the promotion and protection of human rights by, inter alia, creating public awareness through discussions, lectures, seminars, studies, etc, advising the Government on issues of human rights, including suggestions and proposals to the Government for harmonization of legislation with human rights instruments and international standards and examining, either ex proprio motu or upon a complaint, violations of human rights, which do not fall within the competence of other institutions, an area in which the Institution is very active. The Institution constitutes the liaison of the Republic with similar bodies in other countries.
Source: Press And Information Office, Republic Of Cyprus, 2005