Considering the forthcoming Parliamentary Elections on 30 May 2021, the Commissioner for Administration and the Protection of Human Rights (Ombudsman), in the framework of her responsibilities as an Independent Mechanism for the Promotion, Protection and Monitoring of the Implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and as an Equality Body, proceeded with the submission of this Ex officio Statement, in relation to the equal participation and access of persons with disabilities to electoral processes and, consequently, to political and public life.
The Statement referred to the recent electoral contests in the Republic of Cyprus and to the actions taken by the State to improve the exercise of the voting rights of persons with disabilities, but also to the issues that remain unresolved and, according to the representative organizations of persons with disabilities, continue to impede the smooth exercise of the voting rights of persons with disabilities. Furthermore, the national legal framework governing the exercise of the rights of persons with disabilities in the various electoral processes was evaluated, as well as the current legislation on the deprivation of legal capacity of persons with disabilities and, consequently, the right to exercise their voting rights.
After analyzing the relevant provisions of the UN Convention and the positions of the UN Commission on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, as formulated in its General Comments and in Decision no. CRPD/C/10/D/4/2011, the Concluding Observations were quoted in relation to the first Report of Cyprus on the implementation of the Convention regarding this issue.
A brochure was attached to the Ombudsman’s report, which was prepared as part of an awareness campaign conducted by her Office, regarding the Equal Participation of Persons with Disabilities in the Elections. In the brochure they are briefly mentioned, on the one hand, the basic rights of the persons with disabilities during the elections, and, on the other hand, the obligations of the State (and of the political parties), in order to ensure these rights.
More information on the campaign is available here in Greek and in English.