[Brussels 13th June 2018] On the first anniversary of the signature of the Istanbul Convention by the European Union (EU), the European Coalition to end Violence against Women and Girls releases a statement calling on the EU and all member states to urgently ratify and implement the Istanbul Convention.
The European Coalition to End Violence against Women and Girls is an extensive strategic alliance of more than 25 cross-European human rights and social justice civil society organisations working collectively to ensure that women and girls across Europe can live their lives free from all forms of violence.
The Council of Europe Convention on Preventing and Combatting Violence against women and domestic violence, the Istanbul Convention, is the first legally binding treaty in Europe that criminalises multiple forms of violence against women. It emphasises and recognises that violence against women is a human rights violation, a form of discrimination against women, and a cause and consequence of inequality between women and men.
On 13 June 2017, the EU signed the Istanbul Convention, sending a very strong political message on its commitment to end violence against women and girls.
Yet today, one year on the EU has unfortunately made little progress with the ratification process and only 19 of the 28 EU member states have ratified the Convention. While the European Parliament adopted a strong resolution last September, the Council negotiations on the Code of Conduct remain ongoing, and, with a complex process to undertake in accession to the Convention, the need for immediate action has become critical.
The strong progress already made towards the ratification and effective implementation can no longer be hindered by retrograde forces. Women and girls across Europe deserve live free from violence and the fear of violence. Therefore, the European Coalition urges the upcoming Austrian EU Presidency to stand up for women and advance the ratification process as swiftly as possible.
You can read the full statement of the European Coalition below and you can join over 150,000 European citizens in calling for action by signing the Rise Up Against Violence Petition here.
The EU has committed to be a frontrunner in implementing the UN’s 2030 Agenda and achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, including SDG 5 to "Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls" by 2030. Concretely, by ratifying the Council of Europe Convention on Preventing and Combating violence against women and domestic violence , the EU will be moving towards the following SDG 5 target: Eliminate all forms of violence against all women and girls in the public and private spheres, including trafficking and sexual and other types of exploitation.
Furthermore, the ratification and implementation of the Istanbul Convention are fundamental to address the strategic objectives to end violence against women included in the Beijing Platform for Action, a fundamental human rights instrument for women and girls adopted in 1995,
Take integrated measures to prevent and eliminate violence against women
Study the causes and consequences of violence against women and the effectiveness of preventative measures.