Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence (Istanbul Convention)

Effective ways to prevent and combat violence against women and domestic violence

29 November 2011, Bratislava, Slovakia


Preventing violence, protecting its victims and prosecuting the perpetrators are the cornerstones of the convention. It also seeks to change the hearts and minds of individuals by calling on all members of society, in particular men and boys, to change attitudes. In essence, it is a renewed call for greater equality between women and men, because violence against women is deeply rooted in the inequality between women and men in society and is perpetuated by a culture of tolerance and denial.

Read more > Background paper

Norway Grants supports measures to combat gender-based violence

Through the EEA and Norway Grants, Norway contributes to reducing economic and social disparities in the European Economic Area and the strengthening of bilateral relations with the 12 newest EU member states, as well as Greece, Portugal and Spain. For the period 2009-14, Norway has pledged to provide financial contributions of almost €1.8 billion in grants. Measures to combat gender-based violence will be a key priority in this funding period, through programmes in countries including Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Estonia, Poland and Slovak Republic. Funding will be made available to public and private entities as well as non-governmental organisations in the beneficiary countries.

The Council of Europe will be an important partner to the Norway Grants within the fields of domestic violence and violence against women, and measures to support countries in their ratification of the Convention may be funded under the Norway Grants programmes.

Objective and contents of the conference

The objective of the conference is four-fold:

to encourage member states to sign and ratify the Convention;

to raise awareness of its existence among members of parliament, NGOs, the media and professionals working in the field;

to discuss the challenges and actions required for effective prevention, protection and prosecution and the added value of the Council of Europe Convention in this respect;

to launch the Norway Grants’ support to prevent and tackle gender-based violence.

The conference will allow participants to learn about the different measures the Convention requires State parties to take and to understand their relevance to preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence. It will attract media attention to the Convention and the subject-matter itself by highlighting particularly innovative aspects of the convention, such as the role of the media and the link between gender stereotypes and violence.

The conference is expected to generate interest in the Convention among key stakeholders involved in the ratification process and among media and NGO representatives.

Read more > Background paper

Targeted Participants

Violence against women and domestic violence cannot be addressed by one agency or institution alone. The Convention recognises this and calls for a multi-agency approach. Therefore, participants should include the following:

High-level representatives of the ministries of Justice, ministries for equal opportunities, and/or social affairs and health;

High-level government representatives responsible for the ratification of international treaties;

Representatives of government equality commissions where they exist;

Members of national parliament;

Professionals dealing with violence against women and domestic violence;

Representatives of other international organisations, notably UN Women, FRA, and the  Gender Equality Institute of the European Union;

Representatives of national human rights institutions;

Representatives of NGOs;

Representatives of the media.

Conference Documents

Final Programme
Background paper
Practical information
List of participants




In Strasbourg

Ms Liri Kopaçi-Di Michele
Head of Division 

Ms Valérie Giret
Administrative Assistant

In Bratislava

JUDr. PhDr. Branislav Kadlečík
General State Counsellor

In Brussels

Ms Maria Egeland Thorsnes
EEA and Norway Grants


Click here for more details


Co-organisers' websites



See also

Campaign "Stop domestic violence against women"

Gender Equality

Council of Europe
Parliamentary Assembly

Action against trafficking
in human beings

Council of Europe programme "Building a Europe
for and with children"