Business and human rights

1. What kind of judicial protection do I have in your country as a victim of business-related human rights violations? Does this protection include compensation?

Pursuant to the provisions of Law 174/1989 on Employer's Liability (Compulsory Insurance), as amended, employees who are victims of business-related human rights violations are entitled to compensation in the case of an accident in the workplace (death or bodily injury) caused by and during their employment, or in the case of an occupational disease caused by their work. That Law requires all employers to take out an insurance policy against liability for a work accident or occupational disease caused to any employee. This requirement also covers the employment of permanent residents in Cyprus, who are employed abroad and to whom an accident or occupational disease has been caused. The Law specifies the minimum coverage amount for each accident or occupational disease per employee (one hundred and sixty thousand euros, EUR 160 000 00), as well as for each case or series of cases resulting from the same operative event ( EUR 3 415 000 00), including expenses and interest.

In order to ensure the payment of compensation to an employee, which exceeds the compensation provided for under the Law, a relevant action must be lodged with the court.

During the performance of inspections at employer branches / businesses for checking their compliance with the legislation on safety and health at work, the inspectors from the Department of Labour Inspectorate also check if there is a document certifying compulsory employer's liability insurance.

2. Do you have specific rules for gross human rights violations? Do these rules apply to environmental crimes or severe labour exploitation?

See the answer to question 1 above.

3. I am a victim of a human rights violation resulting from activities of a European transnational corporation which occurred outside the European Union. Do I have access to the courts in your country if I am not an EU-citizen or I don’t live in the EU? What are the requirements for me to claim violation of my rights? Where can I find any additional information?

No, access is not provided. Based on the available information and data, as described in the question, there does not appear to be any connection to establish jurisdiction with the Cypriot courts.

4. Can Ombudsman Institutions, equality bodies or national human rights institutions support victims of business-related human rights violations committed by European transnational corporations outside the European Union? Can these bodies investigate my case if I am not an EU-citizen or I don't live in the EU? Are there other public services (such as labour or environmental inspectorates) in your country that can investigate my case? Where can I find information about my rights?

No. Third-country nationals who claim to be victims of human rights violations are afforded the corresponding protection by independent institutions, provided that the violation was committed in Cyprus.

5. Does your country impose obligations on European transnational corporations to establish complaint mechanisms or mediation services for violations resulting from their business activities? Do these obligations apply also to violations that occurred outside the European Union? Who is in charge of monitoring of these activities in your country? Are there public reports available providing information on the functioning of the system?

Regulation (EU) No 524/2013 on online dispute resolution for consumer disputes requires companies with online stores to provide information on the online dispute resolution platform on their websites.

6. Do I have specific rights if I am a vulnerable victim seeking remedy for human rights violations where businesses are involved? Can I have access to legal aid and under which conditions?

Access to legal aid is provided to every natural person whose human rights have been violated if the person resides in the territory of the Republic of Cyprus, regardless of whether they are a citizen of the Republic of Cyprus or an EU-citizen.

Which costs will be covered by the legal aid?

Legal aid is provided for:

  • access to a lawyer,
  • legal advice and
  • representation in court.

Do I have access to legal aid under the same conditions if I am not an EU-citizen or I don't live in the EU?

No.

Last update: 29/07/2020

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