On Thursday, October 4th, a delegation of Women Against Violence Europe (WAVE) and the Global Fund for Women presented 10,000 signatures in support of the Istanbul Convention to the Council of Europe’s Secretary General Thorbjørn Jagland. In less than six months and through joint efforts, thousands of people were mobilised to add their voices to the campaign for ratification of the Council of Europe’s Convention On Preventing And Combating Violence Against Women and Domestic Violence, better known as the ‘Istanbul Convention.’
The Istanbul Convention is based on the understanding that violence against women is a form of gender-based violence that is committed against women because they are women. Upon it entering into force, the lives of 400 Million female European citizens will be protected by the most far-reaching legal framework to tackle gender-based violence and discrimination to ever have been adopted. WAVE policy experts were involved in its drafting from the beginning.
The Istanbul Convention is based on the ‘four Ps’ – Prevention, Protection and support of victims, Prosecution of offenders and Integrated Policies and open to Council of Europe member states, non-members, observer states and the European Union. The Istanbul Convention further states the importance of creating and supporting services for survivors of violence. WAVE research projects such as WAVE’s Annual Country Report document the progress and setbacks in this area and highlight the striking lack of support services such as shelters, women helplines and counselling centres in Europe. So far, 23 governments have signed the treaty. Only Turkey has, through ratification, made the treaty part of its national law. The Convention will enter into force after 10 countries have ratified it.
Click for PODCAST, WAVE’s Ms Freudenberg discusses the campaign to support the Istanbul Convention.