Prohibition of all corporal punishment in Cyprus (1994)
In June 1994, the Cyprus House of Representatives unanimously adopted a new law on prevention of family violence and protection of victims which criminalizes "the exercise of violence on behalf of any member of the family against another member of the family" (Law 147(1) June 1994). It states that, for the purposes of this law, violence means any unlawful act or controlling behaviour which results in direct actual physical, sexual or psychological injury to any member of the family. If any act takes place in the presence of children the act shall be considered as violence exercised against the children likely to cause them psychological injury and such acts or behaviour constitute a punishable offence.
The prohibition was reiterated in a new Act on Violence in the Family adopted in 2000.
In August 2005, the government’s response to the questionnaire in the UN Secretary General’s Study on Violence against Children stated that the Children Law provided for a “right to administer punishment”, but this provision was expected to be removed following review. In 2012, in correspondnce with the Global Initiative, the Government confirmed the existence of article 54(6) in the Children’s Law allowing for the "right to administer punishment" and stated again its intention to revise the law so as to confirm prohibition of all corporal punishment.
In 2013, a complaint on the issue was brought against Cyprus by the Association for the Protection of All Children (APPROACH) Ltd, under the collective complaints procedure of the European Committee of Social Rights (Collective complaint No. 97/2013, Association for the Protection of All Children (APPROACH) Ltd v Cyprus). The complaint alleged that there was no explicit prohibition of all corporal punishment of children, in the family, schools and other settings, and that Cyprus had failed to act with due diligence to eliminate such punishment in practice. In its observations on the admissibility of the complaint in May 2013, the Government reported that the Children’s Law 1956 would soon be repealed and replaced with two new laws which would include explicit prohibition of corporal punishment. On 9 July 2013, the Government confirmed to the Committee that the Bill amending the Children Law had been enacted and article 54 repealed. The complaint was struck out.