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Human Rights and the Cyprus Problem


The process of recovery from mass violence and its aftermath tends to be understood as necessarily holding human rights at its centre.  In this short intervention, I will touch on three questions relating to the role of human rights in dealing with the ‘Cyprus problem’. I use the term ‘Cyprus problem’ to capture a variety of dimensions of Cyprus’ past and current predicament, notably the coup and invasion of 1974 and their aftermath. 

The questions I propose to consider are: 1) how has recourse to the European Court of Human Rights delineated the contours of redress for abuses of human rights that fall within the scope of the Cyprus problem; 2) how and to what effect have human rights been invoked in non-juridical contexts to address (ongoing) harms falling within the scope of the Cyprus problem; and 3) how can human rights be part of peace-making in Cyprus. Within the confines of my short intervention, I consider how grappling with the nuances of human rights within and beyond the legal frame helps us make sense of their potential and limits in delivering justice and making peace.

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