One in three women in the EU have been a victim of physical and/or sexual violence, one in 20 have been raped. Yet, the ratification of the so-called Istanbul Convention – the first legally binding international instrument to prevent such violence, support victims and punish perpetrators, and which has been signed by the EU in 2017 – is being blocked in some member states.
Renew Europe calls on the remaining seven member states to ensure that 2020 is finally the year the Convention is turned into law everywhere in the EU and demands the newly-elected European Commission to make this issue a key priority and to recognise violence against women as a crime under European Treaties.
European Parliament Committee on Women's Rights and Gender Equality (FEMM) shadow rapporteur María Soraya Rodriguez Ramos said ahead of today’s vote on the European Parliament’s resolution on the EU accession to the Istanbul Convention:
“We demand that the newly elected Commission calls on Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Lithuania, Latvia, Slovakia and the United Kingdom to ratify the Istanbul Convention without further delay! We need a European strategy to combat violence against women with a legally binding instrument and we need to recognise violence against women as a crime under European Treaties. We cannot wait another day. We do not want other women victims. Violence against women is violence against humankind and should have no place in Europe.”
Yana Toom, European Parliament Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE) shadow rapporteur on this file, added:
“It is hugely disappointing to see that we are still discussing the basic implementation of this Convention. Instead of exchanging best practices regarding the implementation of the Convention, we still have to pressure those member states, who are lagging behind in ratifying it. Yes, we must and we will continue to be critical towards those member states, which have not turned it into law yet; but we also have to be critical towards those, who have only implemented it on paper. It is high time to put words into action. Women’s right are human rights!”
You can find the full text of the Istanbul Convention here.