This morning there was a debate in the European Parliament’s plenary session about the state play of the Istanbul Convention. One year ago, the EU signed the Council of Europe Convention on Preventing and Combating Violence against Women and Domestic Violence, also known as “the Istanbul Convention”. The Istanbul Convention is the first and most comprehensive international treaty to combat violence against women and domestic violence and it recognises violence against women as a human rights violation. However 10 EU member states have still not ratified the Istanbul convention: Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Latvia, Lithuania, LuxembourgSlovak Republic andUnited Kingdom. 

Soraya Post, member of the European Parliament, Swedish Feminist Initiative says: “It is a disgrace that some governments in the EU have still not ratified the Istanbul Convention; this shows that they do not care about violence against women or equality. There are nationalist and right wing governments in Europe that still do not want to accept that men and women are equal and should have equal rights and responsibilities.

One third of all women in the EU have experienced either physical or sexual violence. The Istanbul convention is one of the most crucial normative instruments that we have in the struggle for equality. It is the most far-reaching international treaty and the first legally binding instrument to fight violence against women and commits signatories to implement measures to protect victims, punish perpetrators and prevent these crimes.”