Sexual rights are the human rights that are already prevalent in national laws, international human rights documents and other consensus documents. These include the right of all persons, free of discrimination and violence, to the highest attainable standard of health in relation to sexuality, including proper access to sexual and reproductive healthcare services; the capacity to seek, receive and impart information in relation to sexuality; access to sexual education; respect for bodily integrity; free will to choose partner; the right to decide sexual preferences; the right to consensual sexual relations, the right to consensual marriage; the right to decide whether to have children or not; and the right to enjoy a satisfying, safe and pleasurable sexual life. Cyprus has a unique and rich cultural history that stretches back over many centuries. Its modern history has been dominated by the territorial conflict between Turkey and Greece, and it is a unique nation, prosperous in some ways and challenged in others. Girls and boys have equal access to education, and at higher education institutions, young women outperform men by number and by performance. Cyprus has acceded to the European Union and therefore has access to a progressive framework for gender equality. Under EU norms, not only does Cyprus have the framework, it also has the obligation to fulfil gender equality, and due to its accession to the EU, it has an enabling legislative framework. Cyprus has adopted several national action plans to address domestic violence, human trafficking, poverty and social exclusion.

Throughout Cyprus history, colonial and post-colonial legacy prosecuted and marginalized LGBT people. Same-sex sexual relations among men were criminalized until 1998, and abolition only occurred following repeated pressure from the European Court of Human rights, following an appeal by Alecos Modinos (LGBTI Activist in Cyprus). In a recent classification of the legal situation for LGBT people in Europe by ILGA-Europe (2011), Cyprus was the only EU member state classified in ILGA-Europe’s “red zone”, indicating “gross violations of human rights and discrimination”. This low ranking is partly attributed to the failure of Cypriot legislation to make any mention of sexual orientation or gender identity in its anti-discrimination and hate speech measures, the lack of any legal recognition of same sex partnerships and its unequal age of consent for straight and for same-sex couples. 

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