[Brussels, 21 May 2014] On 14 May 2014, France has ratified the Istanbul Convention on Preventing and Combating Violence against Women and Domestic Violence, becoming the 12th state to do so.
The Istanbul Convention is the first legally-binding instrument in Europe in the field of male violence against women and the most far-reaching international treaty to tackle this serious violation of human rights. The Istanbul Convention is an ambitious tool to eliminate male violence against women that defines standards for comprehensive measures to be taken by the states to prevent and combat violence against women, and recognise in its preamble that “violence against women is one of the crucial social mechanisms by which women are forced into a subordinate position compared to men”. It was adopted on 7 April 2011 by the Council of Europe Committee of Ministers, and entered into force on 22 April 2014 with the ratification of the 10th state, Andorra. It will become applicable on 1 August 2014.
So far the following countries have ratified the Convention: Albania, Andorra, Austria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Italy, Montenegro, Portugal, Serbia, Spain, Turkey and Denmark. On 14 May 2014, France became the 12th country to ratify it.
Since the adoption of the Istanbul Convention, the European Women’s Lobby (EWL) has been very active in raising awareness on the benefits the Convention could provide to the fight against many forms of violence against women. Together with the Council of Europe, the EWL launched the campaign “Act against rape! Use the Istanbul Convention” in 2013, to promote the signature, ratification and implementation of the concrete tool that is the Istanbul Convention. On that aim, the EWL created an action kit and many events had been organised all around Europe.