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Malta becomes 19th signatory to Council of Europe Convention on violence against women

[Brussels, 22 May 2012] Malta has become the 19th country to sign the Convention on Preventing and Combating Violence against Women and Domestic Violence, the first international convention which creates a comprehensive legal framework and approach to combat violence against women.

The EWL ran a campaign to ensure the adoption of a strong Convention covering all forms of violence against women, and then to get the Convention ratified by all signatories.

The Convention is the first aEuropean legislation on violence against women. It applies to all forms of violence against women, and domestic violence and is aimed at preventing violence, protecting victims and prosecuting the perpetrators. The Council of Europe Committee of Ministers adopted this cCnvention on the 7 April 2011, which opened for signature on the 11 May 2011 in Istanbul. The convention will enter into force following 10 ratifications.

The government explained that the main aim of this Convention is to eliminate all forms of violence against women and domestic violence through prevention, protection and prosecution.

"The convention also establishes a comprehensive framework based on policies and various measures to protect and assist all victims of violence against women and domestic violence,"the statement read.

The government added that the convention tackles not only the direct services and the training for professionals in the field but also the core of the issue.

The convention also promotes substantive equality between women and men and international cooperation whilst providing support to organizations and law enforcement agencies to be able to cooperate within an integrated approach against violence against women and domestic violence.

The government noted that "Malta’s signature of this convention signifies a milestone in government’s zero tolerance approach to violence against women and domestic violence and its commitment to the eradication of domestic violence."

The Ministry of Justice, Dialogue and the Family said it is now working towards the ratification of the convention with the full collaboration of the Commission on Domestic Violence.

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