FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS





In this section you may find answers to frequently asked questions as regards the Ombudsman’s Office. The answers are not exhaustive.

For further and more detailed information concerning the Ombudsman’s competences, you may refer to the appropriate section of the website or contact our Office by telephone (22 405500).

1.What is the Commissioner for Administration and Human Rights (Ombudsman)?
2.For what reasons may I contact the Commissioner?
3.Are there any services/ agencies that fall out of the control of the institution?
4.When does the Commissioner investigate individual complaints?
5.Who can submit an individual complaint?
6.How do I submit a complaint?
7.What is the procedure when considering an individual complaint?
8.Is it possible that I have negative consequences because I addressed to the Commissioner?
9.Will the Commissioner give me legal advice and represent me in court?
10.I have a court case concerning the same subject. May I submit a complaint?
11.I believe the legislation is unjust. May I address this at the Commissioner?
12.Other than investigating individual complaints and making recommendations to the competent authorities, what else does the Commissioner do?
13.What does the Office of the Commissioner for Administration (Ombudsman) do?
14.What does the Anti-Discrimination Body do?
15.What does the Equality Body do?
16.What does the National Mechanism for the Prevention of Torture do?
17.What does the National Human Rights Institution do?
18.What does the Independent Authority for the Promotion of the Rights of Persons with Disability do?
19.Does the Commissioner for Administration and Human Rights provide any general information?
20.Does my problem fall within the competence of the Commissioner?



1. What is the Commissioner for Administration and Human Rights (Ombudsman)?

It is an institution defending human rights, with multiple roles and responsibilities in relation to the preservation, protection and promotion of human rights in the Cypriot state and society.

The Institutional framework of the institution includes:

• The Office of the Commissioner for Administration
• The Anti-Discrimination Body
• The Equality Body
• The Independent Mechanism for the Prevention of Torture
• The Independent Authority for the Promotion of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
• The National Human Rights Institution
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2. For what reasons may I contact the Commissioner?

You may contact the Commissioner if you believe

• A public agency or a public officer handled a case of yours in an unjust manner or in contrast to the laws or to the principles of administrative law or has unjustifiably delayed to respond to your request.
• A public or private body has mistreated you because of your gender, race, ethnicity, the community you belong to, your language, color, age, disability, sexual orientation, religion, political or other beliefs.
• Any of your rights is violated (e.g. access to employment, education, health) due to disability

In all of the above cases, you may submit a complaint to the Ombudsman, in writing, either for a personal matter of yours or on behalf of another person, provided that you have his/ her consent.

You may also contact the Commissioner if you wish to inform him/ her of any matter within the scope of interest of the Office or of any other matter of general interest, either in writing or in person e.g. if you believe or suspect that human rights are violated or torture is taking place or the rights of persons are impaired because of some social characteristics of theirs (e.g. gender, language, ethnicity).

The Commissioner will decide whether any action or intervention on his/ her behalf is required, depending on the subject and the severity of your report.
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3. Are there any services/ agencies that fall out of the control of the institution?

The Commissioner has different competences, and each of them can be applied on a different range of services.

To access the range of services for each separate competence, click on the corresponding link:

The Office of the Commissioner for Administration
The Anti-Discrimination Body
The Equality Body
The Independent Mechanism for the Prevention of Torture
The Independent Authority for the Promotion of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
The National Human Rights InstitutionΑρχή Σελίδας






4. When does the Commissioner investigate individual complaints?

Individual complaints are the complaints submitted by you, or a representative of yours, and are related to the handling of a matter that is directly linked to you as a person.

Individual complaints are investigated by the
Office of the Commissioner for Administration, the Anti-Discrimination Body, the Equality Body and the Independent Authority for the Promotion of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

To submit an individual complaint, click here.

Further to the submission of individual complaints, if you wish to inform the Commissioner on any matter of general interest that falls within his/ her scope of interest, you may do so in writing or in person. He/ she will decide whether any action or intervention of his/ hers on the matter is necessary.Αρχή Σελίδας







5. Who can submit an individual complaint?

Any individual can submit a complaint to the Commissioner, regardless of his/ her residency status in the country and regardless of whether that person is, at the time, in Cyprus complaints may also be submitted by any legal entity or organization.
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6. How do I submit a complaint?

The complaint may be submitted by you or by your representative, as follows:

• by using the
form in this website
• by email message sent to: ombudsman@ombudsman.gov.cy
• by a letter or a completed complaint form, delivered by hand at the reception desk of the Office (2 Diagorou, 1097, Nicosia, Ground Floor)
• by fax: (+357) 22 672881
• by a letter, sent by post to the following address:

Office of the Commissioner for Administration
and Human Rights
1470 Nicosia

If you are unsure whether your complaint can be investigated by our Office, you may contact us (at 22 405500) and speak directly with an Officer, for clarification and guidance.

The submission and examination of the complaint is free of charge.Αρχή Σελίδας







7. What is the procedure when considering an individual complaint?

The complaint is assigned to a competent Officer by the Commissioner and the complainant is informed, in writing, of the case’s reference number and of the telephone number of the Officer handling the case.

If the complaint is judged, at an early stage, to be unfounded or outside jurisdiction, the complainant is informed, by a letter, stating the reasons why the complaint does not qualify for investigation.

If the complaint falls within the remit of the Commissioner and may be investigated, the assigned Officer proceeds with the investigation of the case by telephone and / or written communication with the competent authority, or by research on the field, or in any other way considered appropriate. The time required for the completion of the investigation depends on the nature and on the degree of complexity of the complaint and the response of the authorities involved.

The authorities have a legal obligation to respond and assist the Commissioner's investigations.

If the investigation proves that the complaint is justified, the Commissioner proceeds with the submission of a Report or with some other kind of intervention, addressed to the competent authority, with suggestions / recommendations for the restoration of legality and of the rights of the complainant.

If the investigation reveals that the complaint was unjustified or if, in the meantime, the claim of the complainant is satisfied, he/ she is informed in writing of the outcome of the investigation.
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8. Is it possible that I have negative consequences because I addressed to the Commissioner?

It is not permitted and is prosecutable to punish or treat unfavorably a person who submitted a complaint to the Office of the Commissioner.
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9. Will the Commissioner give me legal advice and represent me in court?

No. For these cases, you may consult a lawyer of your choice or contact the Bar Association.
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10. I have a court case concerning the same subject. May I submit a complaint?

The Commissioner does not investigate complaints when there is a court case pending on the same subject. Moreover, if a court case is filed during the investigation of the complaint, the investigation of the matter by the Commissioner is terminated.

The submission of a complaint to the Commissioner does not suspend the time limit within which the complainant may appeal to the Court on the same subject (75 days).

However, a complaint may be submitted to the Commissioner if there is a favorable court decision and the competent authority delays / fails / refuses to implement it.
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11. I believe the legislation is unjust. May I address this at the Commissioner?

The principle of legality is an essential pillar of the operation of the Ombudsman's office. At the same time, the Commissioner has the ability to make suggestions for amendments to any legal, regulatory or institutional framework if she/ he detects gaps or ambiguities or provisions that violate the principles of proper administration or human rights.

If there is a specific legal or regulatory provision that discriminates between persons on the basis of gender, ethnicity, age, etc., then the Commissioner, acting either as the Equality Body or as Anti- Discrimination Body, informs the Attorney General accordingly.
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12. Other than investigating individual complaints and making recommendations to the competent authorities, what else does the Commissioner do?

The Commissioner, due to his/ her expanded competences, undertakes several educational and informational activities, such as:
• Training schemes for civil servants, in order to improve the public services offered to citizens
• Campaigns for raising awareness of the general public or targeted groups, on issues of equality and anti-discrimination, gender equality, human rights, rights of persons with disabilities, etc.
• Organizes and participates in events, conferences, seminars and other activities in relation to any matter within his/ her powers.
• Issues directives, codes of practice and other informative material.
• Collaborates with services, other Independent Authorities and with civil society to implement the above.
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13. What does the Office of the Commissioner for Administration (Ombudsman) do?

The Ombudsman examines whether the public authorities act in accordance with the legislation and the general principles of administrative law and whether their decisions are consistent with human and civil rights.

Following the submission of individual complaints or on his/ her own initiative, the Ombudsman conducts an investigation and makes suggestions for correction and improvement.

At the same time, he/ she undertakes training events for public officers, in order to improve their behavior and service towards the citizens.

The field of action of the Ombudsman is limited to the public sector.

At the end of each year the Ombudsman submits an Annual Report with all of his/ her actions to the President of the Republic.

To learn about the services that fall within the control of the Ombudsman and for more information, click
here. Αρχή Σελίδας







14. What does the Anti-Discrimination Body do?

The Anti-Discrimination Body, following the submission of an individual complaint or on its own initiative, examines whether the principle of equal treatment of persons is violated,

• on the basis of their racial / national / ethnic origin, the community they belong to, language, color, age, disability, sexual orientation, religion, political or other beliefs.

in the fields of

• social protection, social security, social services, health care, education, participation in unions and professional organizations and access to goods and services, including housing.

The action of the Anti-Discrimination Body covers both the public and the private sectors.

If the Commissioner believes that a policy or practice, in any of the above areas, creates discrimination for any of the above reasons, he/she issues a Report with recommendations for the termination of the policy or practice.

It is also within the power of the Body to issue decrees or impose fines on services / organizations that refuse to comply with the termination of a discriminatory practice.

The broader scope of the Body is the promotion of equality and the combating of all forms of discrimination, through training and awareness raising activities (see. Question 12).

At the end of each year an Annual Report is prepared and submitted to the President of the Republic.

Read more
here. Αρχή Σελίδας






15. What does the Equality Body do?

The Equality Body, following the submission of an individual complaint or on its own initiative, examines whether the principle of equal treatment of people is violated

• based on sex / gender identity, racial / national / ethnic origin, the community to which they belong, language, color, age, disability, sexual orientation, religion, political or other opinion.

in the fields of

• employment, occupation and vocational training, including employment contracts or documents that regulate the employment relationship, recruitment, dismissals, vacancies ads in newspapers etc.

It also examines whether gender discrimination has occurred in regards to the access of persons to goods and services (eg services related to education, health, banks, insurance companies).

The action of the Body covers both the public and the private sectors.

If the Commissioner finds that a policy or practice, in any of the above areas, creates discrimination for any of the above reasons, he/she issues a Report with recommendations for the termination of the policy or practice.

It is also within the power of the Body to issue decrees or impose fines on services / organizations that refuse to comply with the termination of a discriminatory practice.

The broader scope of the Body is the promotion of equality and the combating of all forms of discrimination, through training and awareness activities (see. Question 12).

At the end of each year an Annual Report is prepared and submitted to the President of the Republic.

Read more
here. Αρχή Σελίδας






16. What does the National Mechanism for the Prevention of Torture do?

The Commissioner, within the competence of the Mechanism, has open access and visits places where people are fully or partially deprived of their freedom (such as prisons, detention centers, psychiatric hospitals, institutions that house elderly persons or persons with disabilities), in order to observe and record their living conditions. This Mechanism aims to ensure the dignity and the respect of rights of persons who live under these conditions.

Following the visits, the Commissioner makes recommendations, regarding both the improvement of the conditions recorded and the improvement of the relevant legal and institutional framework.

Additionally, within the framework of inspection and open communication with the competent authorities, the Commissioner works proactively on the issues of torture and inhuman or degrading treatment, through his recommendations and suggestions.

The action of the Mechanism covers both the public and private sectors.

At the end of each year an Annual Report is issued and handed over to the President of the Republic.

Read more
here. Αρχή Σελίδας






17. What does the National Human Rights Institution do?

The Commissioner, under this competence, issues opinions, suggestions and recommendations, when he considers that any state authority violates or restricts the enjoyment of human rights.

He also conducts wide-ranging actions for the promotion of the respect for human rights and, for this purpose, he comes into contact with non-governmental human rights organisations and other organised groups.

For further information on the terminology of “human rights” and to learn more about the Institution, click
here. Αρχή Σελίδας






18. What does the Independent Authority for the Promotion of the Rights of Persons with Disability do?

The Commissioner is responsible for the promotion, protection and monitoring the implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in Cyprus.

In this context, the Commissioner shall examine, on its own initiative or following a complaint, whether the State authorities apply the provisions of the Convention and submit a Report with recommendations for improvement. He, also, cooperates with other agencies and bodies dealing with the subject and enlightens, raises awareness and promotes the protection and realization of rights of persons with disabilities.

For the content of the Convention and for more information on the Authority's responsibilities, click
here. Αρχή Σελίδας






19. Does the Commissioner for Administration and Human Rights provide any general information?

The Officers of the Office are at the disposal of any person, non-governmental organisation or other entity to provide information about issues relating to the Office competences. You may contact us by phone at 22 405500.

For general information regarding the public service, you contact the relevant department or
Citizen Service Centres (for specific procedures that are handled by them). Αρχή Σελίδας






20. Does my problem fall within the competence of the Commissioner?

There are many questions that may be raised in relation to the Commissioner of Administration and Human Rights and his ability to intervene in matters that concern you.

Although it is not possible to predict all questions, here are some typical cases which may relate to you, and for which the Commissioner may intervene:

• I have submitted a request to a public department and the answer I received was not justified / unfair. Can you do anything about it?

• The payment of my disability pension has been terminated. Can you investigate it?

• I am pregnant and my employment has been terminated. Can I refer the matter to you?

• My child has a problem at school, because he/she is Muslim. What can you do about it?

• I am gay and I face racist behavior from my colleagues. Is there anything that can be done?

• I am a teacher and would like to speak to my class about racism and discrimination. How can you assist me?

• I think that at the shelter for elderly, located in the area that I live, the residents do not receive proper treatment. Could you proceed with an investigation?

• I submitted a request/ an application (eg allowance payment, to obtain a building permit or planning permission etc.) and the department is delaying the examination. Can I submit a complaint?

• It’s impossible/ very difficult to visit a public or private venue (e.g. public swimming pool, park, café, playground) because it is not accessible to persons with physical/visual/hearing or other disabilities. Can you do something about this?

• I have been mistreated during arrest / detention / serving my sentence. Shall I file a complaint?

In all these cases, you can
contact us to discuss the issues of concern and to get guidance as to whether there is, a prima facie possibility for the Commissioner’s intervention. Αρχή Σελίδας


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