Violence against women is a human rights violation and a manifestation
of deeply rooted inequality between women and men. To tackle this
scourge, strong legislative and policy measures are essential. The
Council of Europe Convention on Preventing and Combating Violence
against Women and Domestic Violence (“Istanbul Convention”), which
entered into force in 2014, is the most advanced and comprehensive
international legal instrument in this field to date.
The Convention has been ratified by 34 Council of Europe member
States and signed by 11 others and the European Union. It has already
had a positive impact by raising awareness of the urgent need to
combat violence against women, and by requiring States Parties to
introduce high legislative and policy standards. However, a number
of challenges are currently delaying additional accessions to the
Convention or hindering its implementation.
It is crucial to raise awareness of the added value of the
Convention and its positive impact, and to support it at national
and international level. Parliamentarians have an important role
to play to this end by participating actively in its promotion and
dispelling misconceptions about the Convention. Parliaments should
also participate actively in monitoring its implementation.