The Istanbul Convention


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Regional Conference on the Istanbul Convention: From signature to ratification and implementation - Exchange of experience and practices  

17-18 January 2013, Helsinki, Finland
Pikkuparlamentti (Little Parliament)


Every day in Europe, women fall victim of violence. They are stalked, harassed, raped, mutilated, forced by their family to enter into a marriage, sterilised against their will or psychologically and physically abused in the “safety” of their own homes. The examples of violence against women are endless, its victims countless. Many women are afraid or ashamed to seek help, often paying for their silence with their lives. Those that do speak out are not always heard. Domestic violence is another form of violence that is far too common and that affects not only women, but men, children and the elderly as well.


Read more > Concept paper

Objective and contents of the conference

The objective of the regional 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 benefits and challenges of ratifying the Convention;

exchange experiences, know-how and networking.

During the Conference, participants will consider the scope and content of the Convention. Particular emphasis will be placed on the added value of the Convention, the link between achieving gender equality and combating violence against women, as well as recognising violence against women as a human rights violation. In addition, the measures which states parties to the Convention will be required to take in the area of prevention, protection and prosecution will be presented in detail. Member states participating in the Conference will be invited to present their national perspective on the benefits and challenges in ratifying the Convention. Finally, the Conference will provide a platform for exchange of experiences, knowhow and networking among participants. 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 > Concept paper

Targeted Participants

The participants will be representatives of the governments of Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Poland, the Russian Federation and Sweden.

Participants will include representatives from: government structures and institutions, parliaments and local authorities, judiciary and law enforcement, other regional and international organisations, notably the Council of the Baltic Sea States (CBSS), the Nordic Council, UN Women, the Fundamental Rights Agency (FRA), the European Institute for Gender Equality, NGOs and civil society as well as media.


Conference Documents

Programme, Russian
Concept paper
List of participants

Practical information

 Additionnal Practical information

Finnair City Bus Timetable

Photo Gallery



Council of Europe

Ms Liri Kopaçi-Di Michele
Head of Division

Gender Equality and Violence against Women and Domestic Violence
Tel:  +33 3 88 41 22 58



Mrs Adrienne Ingledow
Principal Administrative Assistant

Gender Equality and Violence against Women and Domestic Violence Division

Tel: +33 3 88 41 20 63



Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Finland

Ms Mia Spolander
Legal Officer

Unit for Human Rights Courts and Conventions

Legal Service

Tel: +358 9 160 55 727



Ms Sanna Kyllönen
Unit for Human Rights Policy
Political Department
Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland
Tel. +358 9 160 55170
Mobile : +358 50 364 6135


Ms Katharina Bäckman
Desk Officer (Council of Europe, COSCE)

Unit for Human Rights Policy

Political Department

Tel: +358 9 160 55 956




Co-organisers' websites



See also

Gender Equality

Council of Europe
Parliamentary Assembly

Action against trafficking
in human beings

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