[Brussels, 04 March 2016] The European Commission has launched a proposal for the European Union to sign and ratify the Council of Europe’s Istanbul Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence. The European Women’s Lobby highly welcomes this initiative as it is a major step forward to put an end to violence against women and to make Europe a safer and more equal place for women.
The Istanbul Convention is the first European binding instrument specifically devoted to violence against women and an important step forward for equality. It recognises violence against women as a human rights violation, a form of discrimination against women and as a manifestation of unequal power relations. It addresses violence against women through measures aimed at preventing violence, protecting victims, and prosecuting the perpetrators.
The European Women’s Lobby will continue its advocacy work together with its members and the experts of the EWL Observatory on violence against women to ensure that:
- the Council of Ministers consent to sign and ratify the Istanbul Convention;
- there is an adequate implementation of the Convention in all of the countries which have ratified;
- the countries that have not ratified or signed yet move forward in the process.
More information on the European Commission proposal:
European Commission Press release.
European Commission facthseet on the Istanbul Convention.
More information about the EWL position on violence against women:
European Women’s Lobby fachsheet on violence against women
European Women’s Lobby Charter of principles on violence against women.
European Women’s Lobby Position Paper: "Towards a Europe Free from All Forms of Male Violence against Women”
More information on the Istanbul Convention’s chart of signatures and ratifications:
- 12 Member States (Austria, Denmark, Finland, France, Italy, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden) have already ratified the Convention.
- A further 13 Member States have signed it but not yet ratified. Romania and Belgium have already announce that they will ratify shortly.
- Bulgaria and Latvia have not signed the Istanbul Convention.