Council of Europe Convention on Preventing and Combating Violence Against Women and Domestic Violence

 

The treaty, the “Council of Europe Convention on Preventing and Combating Violence Against Women and Domestic Violence”­­ – known informally as the “Istanbul Convention” – is the first European treaty specifically targeting violence against women and domestic violence. It sets out minimum standards on prevention, protection, prosecution, and services. Countries ratifying must also establish services such as hotlines, shelters, medical services, counselling, and legal aid.


“This is a defining moment for women in Europe for whom the home is a place of danger,” said Gauri van Gulik, global women’s rights advocate for Human Rights Watch. “This treaty will oblige governments to take concrete steps to help women and girls facing violent attacks.”

One in three women in the European Union has experienced some form of physical and/or sexual assault since the age of 15, according to an EU Fundamental Rights Agency survey. An estimated 35 percent of women worldwide have experienced physical or sexual violence by a partner, or sexual violence by a stranger. The World Health Organization calls this a public health problem of epidemic proportions.

The treaty was adopted in Istanbul on May 11, 2011. More than half (25 of 47) of the countries that are Council of Europe members have signed the convention (the initial step before fully agreeing to be bound by the treaty through ratification). To date, ten countries have ratified: Albania, Austria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Andorra, Italy, Montenegro, Portugal, Serbia, Spain, and Turkey.

The Istanbul Convention addresses gaps in national responses to violence against women. Across Europe, violence and the failure of governments to prevent it is a daily, brutal reality for women and girls, Human Rights Watch research over the past few years has shown.

Which Countries have ratified, signed or just ignored the treaty.

Number

Ratified

Signed but not yet ratified

Not signed

1

Albania

Belgium

Armenia

2

Andorra

Croatia

Azerbaijan

3

Austria

Finland

Bulgaria

4

Bosnia + Herzegovina

France

Cyprus

5

Denmark

Germany

Czech Republic

6

Montenegro

Sweden

Estonia

7

Portugal

Greece

Georgia

8

Serbia

Hungary

Liechtenstein

9

Spain

Ireland

Moldova

10

Turkey

Lithuania

Latvia

11

 

Monaco

Romania

12

 

Switzerland

Russia

13

 

Luxembourg

San Marino

14

 

Malta

 

15

 

Netherlands

 

16

 

Norway

 

17

 

Poland

 

18

 

United Kingdom

 

19

 

Slovenia

 

20

 

The Former Yugoslav Republic Macedonia

 

21

 

Slovakia

 

22

 

Ukraine

 

 “Violence against women is not a force of nature – it can be stopped,” van Gulik said. “This convention is set to bring about practical changes that should ultimately improve the lives of women and girls across Europe.” 

See the convention text here:   http://www.conventions.coe.int/Treaty/EN/treaties/html/210.htm

Further charts with more detail here:  http://www.conventions.coe.int/Treaty/Commun/ChercheSig.asp?NT=210&CM=&DF=&CL=ENG

Find the word version here:  http://www.conventions.coe.int/Treaty/Commun/QueVoulezVous.asp?CL=ENG&NT=210

33 states have now signed the treaty with 11 going on to ratify.

Posted by Joan Taylor 30 April 2014

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