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http://www.coe.int/conventionviolence-newyork2013

Violence against Women: our concern, our response
A side event at the 57th Session
of the Commission on the Status of Women

New York - ECOSOC, UN Headquarters - Monday, 4 March 2013, 1.15 - 2.30 pm

 

Background

Every day women 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 too 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.

The Side Event will present the added value of the Istanbul Convention in the framework of international and regional legally binding treaties. It will also highlight its significance as an efficient and practical tool for governments to prevent and combat violence against women and domestic violence in Europe and beyond.

The Istanbul Convention

Opened for signature in May 2011, the Istanbul Convention is the first legally binding instrument in Europe to prevent and combat violence against women and domestic violence and in terms of scope it is the most far-reaching international treaty to tackle this serious violation of human rights. It aims at zero tolerance for violence against women and domestic violence and is a major step forward in making Europe and beyond a safer place. Preventing violence, protecting its victims and prosecuting the perpetrators are the cornerstones of the Convention, as is the requirement to co-ordinate any such measures through comprehensive policies. In essence, it is a renewed call for greater equality between women and men, because violence against women is deeply rooted in women's inequality in society and is perpetuated by a culture of tolerance and denial.

The Convention covers victims from any background, regardless of their age, race, religion, social origin, migrant status or sexual orientation and calls for the criminalisation of psychological violence, stalking, sexual harassment, forced marriage, female genital mutilation, forced abortion and forced sterilisation.

To date, the Convention has been ratified by the following 3 member states of the Council of Europe : Albania, Portugal and Turkey and has been signed by 24 member states of the Council of Europe : Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Italy, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, Montenegro, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Serbia, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, the "former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia", Ukraine and United Kingdom.

Any Council of Europe member or observer state, any other state or the European Union may sign and ratify the Convention. It will enter into force following the ratification by 10 countries, including 8 Council of Europe member states. An independent group of experts (GREVIO) will be set up to monitor implementation of the Convention by States Parties.

 

Flyer

Download the PDF version

 
Co-organised by

The Permanent Mission of the Republic of France to the United Nations

 
The keynote speakers

  Mr Gilbert Saboya Sunyé, Minister of Foreign Affairs (Andorra) and Chairman of the Committee of Ministers, Council of Europe

  Ms Najat Vallaud-Belkacem, Minister for Women’s Rights and Government Spokesperson (France)

  Ms Lakshmi Puri, Assistant Secretary-General, United Nations, and Deputy Executive Director, UN Women

  Mr Jean-Claude Mignon, President of the Parliamentary Assembly, Council of Europe

 
Conclusions

  Ms Gabriella Battaini-Dragoni, Deputy Secretary General, Council of Europe

 
Moderator

  Ms Margaret Besheer, Voice of America, UN Correspondent

 
Speeches

  Mr Gilbert Saboya Sunyé, Minister of Foreign Affairs (Andorra) and Chairman of the Committee of Ministers, Council of Europe (French only)

  Ms Najat Vallaud-Belkacem, Minister for Women’s Rights and Government Spokesperson (France) (French only)

  Ms Lakshmi Puri, Assistant Secretary-General, United Nations, and Deputy Executive Director, UN Women

  Mr Jean-Claude Mignon, President of the Parliamentary Assembly, Council of Europe (French only)

  Ms Gabriella Battaini-Dragoni, Deputy Secretary General, Council of Europe

 
Other interventions

  Agnieszka Kozłowska-Rajewicz, Minister for Equal Treatment, Poland

   Elsa Fornero, Minister of Labour and Social Policies in charge of Equal Opportunities, Italy

 
Video and photos

  Video of the Side Event

   Photos

 
Contacts

  Ms Liri Kopaçi-Di Michele
Head of Division
liri.kopaci-dimichele@coe.int

  Ms Valérie Giret-Lerch
Administrative Assistant
valerie.giret@coe.int