Recommendation 1868 (2009)1

Action to combat gender-based human rights violations, including the abduction of women and girls


1. Many countries in Europe are today facing problems of forced marriages, female genital mutilation and other serious human rights violations perpetrated against women and girls because of their gender. Estimates available in various countries indicate that thousands of women and girls, mostly from immigrant communities, are vulnerable to these forms of violence. While the practices in question are prohibited in Europe, these women and girls are victimised by the actions of their own families. They are abducted, illegally confined and, in some cases, forced to return to their countries of origin and, in the name of tradition, custom or religion, are forcibly married, circumcised or enslaved.

2. Recalling its Resolution 1662 (2009) on action to combat gender-based human rights violations, including the abduction of women and girls, the Parliamentary Assembly requests that the Committee of Ministers:

2.1. draft as soon as possible a convention to combat the most serious and widespread forms of violence against women, including forced marriages, in keeping with Assembly Recommendation 1847 (2008) on combating violence against women: towards a Council of Europe convention;

2.2. to this end, set up at Council of Europe level a unified statistical data collection system for gender-based human rights violations and ensure follow-up of the results, including at national level;

2.3. encourage the European Centre for Global Interdependence and Solidarity (North-South Centre) to step up its programmes on gender equality and combating gender-based violence and continue the dialogue with countries of emigration and countries of immigration on gender equality issues, notably in civil law, and combating serious violations of human rights.

3. Recalling its Recommendation 1798 (2007) on respect for the principle of gender equality in civil law, the Assembly invites the Committee of Ministers to implement its provisions without further delay and in particular reiterates its demand that a new protocol to the European Convention on Human Rights on gender equality be drawn up.


1. Assembly debate on 28 April 2009 (13th Sitting) (see Doc. 11784, report of the Committee on Equal Opportunities for Women and Men, rapporteur: Mrs Papadopoulos; and Doc. 11873, opinion of the Social, Health and Family Affairs Committee, rapporteur: Mr Hancock). Text adopted by the Assembly on 28 April 2009 (13th Sitting).