On 20 June, the Parliament of Ukraine approved the Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence (the Istanbul Convention). The respective law was signed by the President and entered into force on 2 July. On 18 July, Ukraine deposited the instrument of ratification of the Istanbul Convention with the Secretary General of the Council of Europe. The Convention will enter into force, as regards Ukraine, on 1 November.
A significant step forward in combatting domestic and gender-based violence in Ukraine, the ratification of the Istanbul Convention is an important development for the execution of the Levchuk group of cases against Ukraine which concerns, in particular, both verbal harassment and physical violence sustained by women applicants.
In the Levchuk judgment, the European Court referred to calls by the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights and UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women to facilitate and accelerate the ratification of the Istanbul Convention by Ukraine. At its last examination of the Levchuk group of cases in November-December 2021 (1419th CM-DH meeting), the Committee of Ministers encouraged the authorities, in particular, to explore avenues to strengthen safeguards aimed at combatting domestic and gender-based violence in line with Council of Europe standards and notably the Council of Europe Istanbul Convention seen as the core international legal instrument in the domain.