Recommendation 1891 (2009)1

Migrant women: at particular risk from domestic violence


1. With reference to Resolution 1697 (2009) migrant women: at particular risk from domestic violence, the Parliamentary Assembly reiterates that any form of violence against women, domestic violence included, is unacceptable and constitutes a grave violation of human rights. Cultural relativism cannot be invoked to justify practices that infringe the fundamental rights of migrant women and women of migrant origin.

2. The Assembly calls on the Committee of Ministers to instruct the Ad Hoc Committee on Preventing and Combating Violence against Women and Domestic Violence (CAHVIO) to:

2.1. include in the future Council of Europe convention on combating violence against women and domestic violence the severest and most widespread forms of violence against women, including domestic violence, so-called “honour crimes” and female genital mutilation (in accordance with Assembly Recommendation 1847 (2008) combating violence against women: towards a Council of Europe convention);

2.2. take account of migrant women’s specific needs in this context, and set out provisions guaranteeing both the protection of migrant women’s fundamental rights in the states parties to the future convention, and effective access to protection and rehabilitation facilities;

2.3. include in the future convention international co-operation provisions concerning judicial co-operation in criminal matters, co-operation on the prevention of various forms of violence against women and the provision of protection and assistance to victims.

3. The Assembly urges the Committee of Ministers to implement the measures identified by the 8th Council of Europe Conference of Ministers responsible for Migration Affairs concerning the integration of migrant women and the protection of isolated and vulnerable migrant women.

4. The Assembly also calls on the Committee of Ministers to encourage the Council of Europe’s European Centre for Global Interdependence and Solidarity (North-South Centre) to step up its co-operation programmes and combat gender-based violence, including domestic violence, and foster dialogue between countries of emigration and of immigration, so as to agree upon common strategies for combating gender-based violence and building women’s capacities.


1. Text adopted by the Standing Committee, acting on behalf of the Assembly, on 20 November 2009 (see Doc. 11991, report of the Committee on Equal Opportunities for Women and Men, rapporteur: Mrs Woldseth; and Doc. 12054, opinion by the Committee on Migration, Refugees and Population, rapporteur: Mrs Acketoft).