3 June 2003
Domestic violence against women
Recommendation 1582 (2002)
Reply from the Committee of Ministers
adopted at the 840th meeting of the Ministers’ Deputies (28 May 2003)
1. The Committee of Ministers has examined with interest Recommendation 1582 (2002) of the Parliamentary Assembly on domestic violence against women and has brought it to the attention of member states.
2. The Committee of Ministers has sought the expert opinion of the Steering Committee for Equality between Women and Men (CDEG) on this recommendation and its opinion is appended to this reply.
3. The Committee of Ministers shares the concerns of the Assembly and reaffirms the commitment of the Council of Europe to combat violence against women and all forms of sexual exploitation. In this respect, the 5th European Ministerial Conference between Women and Men (Skopje, 22 – 23 January 2003), in its final declaration, agreed that preventing and combating violence against women and trafficking in human beings should be one of the three main focuses of the activities of the Council of Europe to protect and promote the human rights of women. Furthermore the Committee of Ministers has adopted terms of reference for an interdisciplinary Committee (CAHTEH) to prepare a draft Convention of the Council of Europe on action against trafficking in human beings.
4. The Council of Europe has undertaken a number of initiatives for the protection of women against violence over the past 25 years. In this context, the CDEG underlines that the provisions of Recommendation Rec(2002)5 of the Committee of Ministers to member states on the protection of women against violence advocate a number of practical and legislative measures for prevention, protection of and assistance to victims, prosecution, awareness raising and vocational training programmes. The recommendations also include additional measures with regard to violence in the family and intervention programmes for the perpetrators of violence. All these measures are in line with those advocated by the Assembly.
5. Furthermore, the Committee of Ministers has entrusted a group of specialists, under the authority of the CDEG, to prepare guidelines for the concrete implementation of and follow-up to the recommendation, as part of the arrangements concerning the obligation to inform the Council of Europe on the follow-up given at national level to its provisions. The group will also collect information on specific plans to combat violence against women at local, regional and national levels.
6. The Committee of Ministers would also emphasise the activities undertaken in the framework of the integrated project “Responses to violence in everyday life in a democratic society”. The Committee of Ministers particularly welcomes a manual to be published, based on the work of the Council of Europe, on priority measures for policy and practice in relation to combating violence against women as well as organising a seminar, in June 2003, on the measures of responsibility and treatment of men who exercise violence within the family. It would also mention, in this context, the activities of the Directorates of Education and of Youth and Sport on the training of teachers and youth leaders on the prevention of violence against women. In light of the foregoing and of the activities currently in progress, the Committee of Ministers has no plans at this stage to launch a European year against domestic violence.
Opinion of the CDEG on Parliamentary Assembly Recommendation 1582 (2002)
on domestic violence against women
The CDEG welcomes the adoption by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe of Recommendation 1582 (2002), which complements earlier recommendations by the Assembly to combat all forms of violence against women. It also welcomes the emphasis placed by the Assembly on the need to address the hidden nature of this type of violence and supports its call to governments to institute effective awareness-raising policies and information campaigns to inform and educate the public about this problem.
The CDEG draws attention to all its own research and awareness-raising work on this issue. In this context, it points out that the 3rd European Ministerial Conference on Equality between Women and Men (Rome, 21-22 October 1993) drew up elements for intervention strategies to be included in an action plan to combat violence against women. Furthermore, the work of its group of specialists on combating violence against women, set up in 1994, produced a plan of action to combat violence against women, intended to provide guidance for national government departments.
In this context, the CDEG underlines that the provisions of Recommendation Rec(2002) 51 adopted by the Committee of Ministers offer a series of measures, both legislative and practical, for prevention and prosecution, as well as protection of and assistance to victims. It also includes measures concerning sexual violence and violence in the family and programmes for dealing with those responsible.
The CDEG also emphasises that, as part of arrangements for monitoring the implementation of this recommendation, a group of specialists has been set up whose task will be to work out a common framework on the basis of indicators, in order to help the member states readily and quickly to provide information corresponding to the various indicators. This work will be carried out taking into account the indicators drawn up in the framework of the European Union. This common framework will make it easier to monitor developments and propose appropriate action, In view of the recommendation's wide scope, in the interests of efficiency the group will also determine priorities for monitoring its application. The group will also collect information on specific plans to combat violence against women at local, regional and national levels.
All these actions are in line with those advocated by the Assembly. The CDEG accordingly welcomes the Assembly's call to the Committee of Ministers to launch a European Year against domestic violence.
1 Recommendation Rec(2002) 5 on the protection of women against violence