Yesterday, trans rights activists and international experts met with the Cypriot Minister of Justice and Public Order Iona Nicolaou on the preparation of a legal gender recognition law. Silvan Agius, as special expert for the Council of Europe and Richard Köhler, Senior Policy Officer and Deputy Executive Director of Transgender Europe participated in the meeting, explaining obligations arising from international human rights law and European standards in this matter. Cyprus is together with Hungary the last country in the European Union without a law regulating how to adapt documents to a person’s gender identity.
The meeting discussed the problems faced by trans people in Cyprus, and in particular the next steps towards a new law on legal gender recognition and the roles of civil society and ministries. The process receives support from the Council of Europe. The Government’s attitude to public homophobic and transphobic rhetoric and issues related to the Cyprus police were also brought to the table.
Ionas Nicolaou confirmed the willigness of the ministry to contribute to the process, together other relevant ministries.
The meeting was attended also by the Director-General of the Ministry of Labour, Social Welfare and Social Insurance Andreas Assiote, and officials of the Ministry of Interior and Ministry of Justice, and a representative of the trans group of LGBT NGO ACCEPT, and legal experts.