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Jelena Drenjanin: "Challenging the Istanbul Convention is a serious setback for women's rights"

Istanbul Convention Strasbourg, France 30 July 2020
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Jelena Drenjanin:

"The Istanbul Convention is the first legally binding instrument at European level, providing a comprehensive legal framework for the prevention of violence, the protection of victims and an end to impunity for perpetrators," said Jelena Drenjanin, Congress Spokesperson on Gender Equality, in a statement on 30 July 2020.

"Today, in the face of the retrogressive tendencies that are being expressed in several countries, particularly Poland, we strongly reaffirm that the Istanbul Convention constitutes an essential legal basis for the protection of women against violence. Questioning this major treaty, or slowing down its ratification, is a worrying alert and a serious setback for women's rights.

From the very first steps that led to the adoption of this treaty in 2011, the Congress has mobilised to encourage governments to draw up this legal instrument. We have constantly called on national, local and regional authorities to set up awareness-raising, prevention and protection mechanisms to put an end to this scourge.

As local and regional elected representatives, we must remain at the forefront of the fight against domestic violence. It concerns us all. It is not a private matter, but a public matter. That is why we call on the authorities of the 47 member States to do their utmost to guarantee women's rights within the framework of the Istanbul Convention. »

During the period 2006-2008, the Congress actively participated in the "Stop Domestic Violence against Women" campaign, in many European cities, with poster campaigns in the streets and subways under the slogan "Cities and regions take a stand" and a photo exhibition entitled "Breaking the silence on domestic violence". In 2009, the Congress adopted Resolution 279 and Recommendation 260 on combating domestic violence against women and called for the development of strategies and measures at local level, to prevent and combat violence against women.

The Congress Current Affairs Committee recently adopted a report on fighting sexist violence against women in politics at local and regional level. It will be considered for adoption at the 39th Session of the Congress to be held at the end of October 2020.

Opened for signature on 11 May 2011, the Council of Europe Convention on Preventing and Combating Violence against Women and Domestic Violence, known as the Istanbul Convention, entered into force on 1 August 2014. It has been signed by all Council of Europe member States, except Azerbaijan and the Russian Federation, and ratified by 34 member States.