EU ministers approve EU’s accession to Istanbul Convention

The Council of the European Union approved on June 1 the EU’s accession to the Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence (the Istanbul Convention), a statement by the Council of the EU said.

The convention creates a legal framework to protect women against violence, the statement said.

It covers a broad range of measures, from data collection and awareness raising to legal measures on criminalising different forms of violence against women.

It includes measures for the protection of victims and the provision of support services, and addresses the gender-based violence dimension in matters of asylum and migration.

“The EU’s accession to the Convention is a boost for EU efforts to realise equality between women and men,” the statement said.

“Violence against women is not only a criminal offence but also an extreme form of discrimination, entrenched in gender inequalities. At the same time, violence against women contributes to maintaining and reinforcing these inequalities.”

The Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence is the first international instrument aiming to eliminate violence against women, including girls under the age of 18.

Violence against women and girls is one of the most systemic and common human rights violations globally, the statement said. One in three women has experienced physical or sexual violence, mostly perpetrated by intimate partners.

The Istanbul convention entered into force in April 2014 and was signed by the EU on June 13 2017.

The Council of the EU and the European Parliament are in the process of adopting an EU law on combatting violence against women and domestic violence.

Among other things, it intends to criminalise a number of offences across the EU such as non-consensual sharing of intimate images, female genital mutilation and cyber harassment, the statement said.

(Photo: Fabrizio Turco/

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