The Council of Europe standards offer valuable guidance and tools to states in tackling cyberviolence.

The Lanzarote and Istanbul conventions provide guidance on substantive criminal laws that protect children and women from abuse and violence, including in the online environment. Both conventions are based on the 4Ps: prevention, protection, prosecution and partnerships. Countries outside the Council of Europe may join both conventions.

The procedural rules and international cooperation rules in the Budapest Convention can be applied for investigation of offences related to cyberviolence, allowing for preservation and collection of electronic evidence, as well as international cooperation. Cyberviolence, by its nature, occurs online, which means that often the evidence required to investigate and prosecute these offences is controlled or located in another jurisdiction. This requires effective international cooperation.

The Protocol on Xenophobia and Racism entails an extension of the Budapest Convention’s scope, including its substantive, procedural and international cooperation provisions, so as to cover also offences of racist or xenophobic propaganda.

Binding instruments on cyberviolence

Council of Europe ⇒    European Union ⇒   United Nations ⇒  Other regional organizations ⇒

Soft Law / Non-binding instruments 

Council of Europe ⇒   Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) ⇒  Others ⇒

Binding instruments on cyberviolence

Council of Europe

European Union

United Nations

Other regional organizations

Soft Law / Non-binding instruments

Council of Europe

Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE)


The European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI):

ECRI General Policy Recommendation No 15, on combating hate speech, adopted on 8 December 2015

ECRI General Policy Recommendation No. 6, on combating the dissemination of racist, xenophobic and antisemitic material via the internet, adopted on 15 December 2000