[Brussels, 13 May 2011] The Council of Europe’s new Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence (CETS n° 210) was on 11 May opened for signature on the occasion of the 121st Session of the of Committee of Ministers taking place in Istanbul, gathering Ministers of Foreign Affairs from 47 Member States. During a ceremony held today in Istanbul, 13 countries signed the new Convention : Austria, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Luxembourg, Montenegro, Portugal, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden and Turkey. This is a good news, as the convention gives a legal framework to protect women against all forms of violence, and prevent, prosecute and eliminate violence against women and domestic violence. The Convention also establishes an international mechanism to monitor its implementation at national level. The EWL has been strongly involved in its preparation, including in the preparatory committee (CAHVIO) and through intense lobbying at national level (see the EWL Lobbying Kit)
But the EWL will continue its efforts, as the Convention can not yet be implemented: to enter into force, the Convention should be ratified by 10 countries, including 8 Member States. The Convention is also open to accession by non-European countries and by the European Union.