Definition of Youth

According to a 2007 Council of Europe report on youth policy in Cyprus, there is no fixed definition of youth in Cyprus. However, a 2010 European Youth Partnership report mentions that for statistical purposes, youth is defined as aged 10-29.


Marriageable Age

  • Opposite Sex
  • Same Sex
  • Without parental consent
  • with parental consent
  • Male
  • 18
  • 16
  • --
  • Female
  • 18
  • 16
  • --

  • No specific legislation for same-sex marriage. Homosexual acts legal in all areas after the Turkish Cypriot leadership repealed a ban on male homosexual acts in January 2014. Source: UNSD, ILGA, ILGA-Europe

Candidacy Age

Criminal Responsibility

Minimum Age
Source:  UN Child Rights Periodic Report

Voting Age


Compulsory voting.
Source:  Inter-Parliamentary Union

Situation of Young People

Literacy Rates

Both sexes (15-24) %
  • 99.84% Male (15-24) %
  • 99.88% Female (15-24) %

Net Enrolment Rate

Secondary School
Both sexes %
  • 90.75%Male %
  • 92.97% Female %

Situation of Young People

Prevalence of HIV

Male (15-24) %
Female (15-24) %

Tobacco Use

Consumed any smokeless or smoking tobacco product at least once 30 days prior to the survey.
Both sexes (13-15) %
  • 13.20% Male (13-15) %
  • 8.40% Female (13-15) %
  • Year: 2010
  • Source: WHO

Policy & Legislation

Is there a national youth policy?
There is no national youth policy yet. Briefings from 2012 and 2010. A policy review was done in 2007.

Cyprus lacks a unifying or over-arching youth policy, which the 2007 Council of Europe report describes as “guiding and governing themes within which the range of operational activity can be located”.   Instead, as listed in the 2012 youth policy briefing, Cyprus has a variety of laws that are concerned with youth issues such as No. 33(I) of 1994: Youth Board Law and No. 48(I) of 2001: Protection of Young Persons at Work. According to a 2012 European Commission report, there is also an inter-ministerial Consulting Committee on Youth consisting of representatives from 10 ministries and agencies. Ministries include Ministry of Labour and Social Insurance, Ministry of Health and Ministry of Justice and Public Order.

Public Institutions

Is there a governmental authority
(ministry, department or office) that is primarily responsible for youth?
The Youth Board of Cyprus is comprised of seven members, each representing the youth organisations of each political party in the House of Representatives. The Council of Ministers appoints three members. Its aims include the promotion of “progress and prosperity” for young people, enhancing participation and “providing effective solutions to current youth problems”.   The Ministry of Education and Culture is the liaison between the Board and the Council of Ministers. The Board is a “Semi-Governmental Organisation”, however its budget is provided fully by the state.

Youth and Representation

Does the country have a national youth organisation / association (council, platform, body)?
The Cyprus Youth Council (previously the Cyprus Youth Council for International Co-operation) is a union of Non-Governmental Youth Organisations (NGYOs) in Cyprus. Founded in 1996, it currently has 51 members and is a full member of the European Youth Forum. Its aim is to promote dialogue and cooperation between youth.   The 2007 Council of Europe report states that there is a lack of clarity about the Council’s role vis-à-vis the Youth Board of Cyprus and other youth organisations. It recommends “further discussion and urgent clarification” on its identity and status.

Budget & Spending

What is the budget allocated to the governmental authority (ministry, department or office) that is primarily responsible for youth and/or youth programming?
EUR 6.6 million
USD 9.1 million
According to the Youth Board of Cyprus website, the budget for 2012 was EUR 6.6 million (USD 9.1 million). The website does not provide budgetary information after 2012. According to the World Bank, Cyprus spent 15.80% of its government expenditure and 7.27% of its GDP on education provision in 2010.
Total Expenditure on Education as a Percentage of Government Spending and GDP

  • % of GDP
  • % of gov. expenditure

Source: World Bank
Gaps indicate missing data from the original data source. (Accessed August 2013).

Additional Background

From Youth Policy in Cyprus (2007):

Introduction to Cyprus
In the context of Cyprus, deliberations on the subject of a national youth policy immediately beg the question of what ‘nation’ is meant. Since the invasion by Turkey in 1974, the island of Cyprus has been divided, with one-third of its land occupied by Turkey and designated, despite a lack of recognition by the rest of the world, as the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus. Despite the whole of the island joining the European Union in May 2004, the acquis communautaire remains suspended in the occupied north and a so-called ‘Green Line’ continues to run across the country, though passage through some checkpoints across the UN-controlled demilitarised zone has eased since the early part of 2003. (Indeed, some 30 000 Turkish Cypriots cross daily from north to south in Nicosia.) [...]
Cyprus became an independent republic on 16 August 1960. However, its constitution, which incorporated a system of entrenched minority rights unparalleled in any other country, soon produced a constitutional deadlock. In July 1974, when the ruling military junta of Greece staged a coup to overthrow the democratically elected Government of Cyprus, Turkey invaded the north of the island, displacing about 142 000 Greek Cypriots (one quarter of the whole population and 80% of those living in the north). Those of the Turkish Cypriot minority (no more than 20% of the population of the whole island) who lived in the south fled to the north. Since 1974, the Turkish Cypriot population in the north has diminished, though the north of the island (unilaterally declared an independent ‘state’ in 1983) has been recurrently re-populated with Turkish settlers, largely from Anatolia in Turkey. [...]
  Youth Organisations
The international review team discovered that in Cyprus youth organisations tend to be ‘highly politicised’, many being youth wings of political parties and trade unions. “In order to exist as a youth in Cyprus, you have to be a political youth”, was the comment of one young person (draft National Report, Culture chapter, p. 29). At youth organisational level, this also seems to be the prevailing view: political youth organisations are considered to hold sway, while other youth organisations feel they have relatively limited influence. This perspective is strongly rebutted by the Cyprus Youth Board, which points to the representation of all types of youth organisation on its Advisory Body. The Youth Board alerted the international review team to the involvement of Turkish Cypriot youth organisations on the Advisory Body and stressed the financial support it provides to youth organisations of all persuasions.
Nevertheless, it was contended repeatedly in discussions between youth organisations and the international review team that the opportunities for influence and participation by non-political and less formal youth organisations was limited ‘within the system’. Those Turkish Cypriot youth organisations that were represented were just as ‘political’ as their Greek Cypriot counterparts; indeed, it was suggested that it was ‘sister’ organisations in the north of Cyprus that largely organised bi-communal activities, and there was no space for more autonomous Turkish Cypriot youth NGOs. [...]

From Country Sheet on Youth Policy in Cyprus (2010):  
Concerning the process of an overall assessment of Cyprus Youth policy, the findings in the “Conclusions of the Council of Europe - International Review” in respect to “...many competing and often contradictory perspectives, inconsistent and often incomplete information“ are still valid, though a significance progress has meanwhile been accomplished. A major goal for the following period should be the establishment of a National Knowledge Centre for Youth Policy which will operate as a local Network between actors and structures that engage in drafting, applying and diffusing youth policies and activities. The latest since Cyprus’ accession to the European Union, there has been a larger-scale tendency in the development of youth policies, both by states and non-state agents. Additionally, the since February 2008 new President of the Republic of Cyprus has stated his firm commitment to upgrade the social role of the young generation, establish a state of social justice and face challenges concerning youth unemployment, juvenile offense, social marginalization and disengagement. Most notable are the constant steps in the direction of a full implementation of the education reform with an overall increase of a total 12.5% by the developmental expenses of the ministry of Education, the €12 million subsidy package for students and the very successful government school bus scheme. [...]
  Youth Board of Cyprus  
The Youth Board of Cyprus, which succeeded the Central Youth Agency, is the actual National Agent on youth issues. It was established by virtue of Law 33(1)/94, unanimously enacted by the House of Representatives in April 1994. Its first Governing Board was appointed in June 1994. The Administrative Board is appointed for a 3-years term and consists of seven members. The Minister of Education and Culture acts as the liaison between the Youth Board of Cyprus and the Council of Ministers. The Board's budget is covered by State subsidy. The Youth Board of Cyprus is a legal entity of public law (Semi-Governmental organization) independent of the civil service, with its own structure and staff, mainly composed of officers and associates employed on a contract basis. It aims at promoting progress and prosperity for all young people of Cyprus, regardless of religion, ethnic and racial origin. It also strives to promote young people’s active participation in the social, economic and cultural development of the country and Europe. [...]
  Municipal and Community Youth Councils  
Additionally to the local authorities, 2010 saw the empowerment of youth initiative on a local level with the continuation of the ongoing improvement and upgrading of the respective Municipal Youth Council institutions. At the same time, various events and activities (cultural, athletics, informative campaigns, etc) aiming both at youngsters’ engagement and entertainment and their involvement in public affairs, were held. During 2010, the Youth Board of Cyprus supported financially the Municipal / Community Youth Councils for their numerous activities. To the present day, 19 municipal and one communal council have been established.
From the Human Development Report (2009):
In Cyprus, the percentage of the population that engages in volunteerism and partcipates in civil society organisations (CSOs) is fairly low. More often than not, CSOs are concentrated in urban areas, and attract the more affluent members of society. As a result, this group is over-represented in such organisations, whereas individuals who do not belong to a certain social class (e.g. ethnic minorities, foreign workers, and rural dwellers) are typically excluded from membership and positions in leadership.