The Council of Europe’s pioneering work in the fields of human rights and gender equality has also resulted in solid standards which, if fully implemented, would and bring member states closer to real equality between women and men. Some of the milestone achievements in this respect include two conventions. 

The Council of Europe Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings  recognises that trafficking in human being is a heavily gendered phenomenon and contains several strong references to gender equality and to mainstreaming a gender equality perspective in the area of trafficking. The Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating Violence against Women and Domestic Violence (Istanbul Convention) is the most far-reaching international treaty to tackle violence against women and domestic violence. It aims at zero tolerance for such violence and is a major step forward in making Europe safer for women. In addition, a number of Recommendations adopted by the Council of Europe Committee of Ministers address gender equality issues in a broad range of areas notably violence against women, balanced participation in political and public decision-making, media, education, health or sport.


Council of Europe Conventions

Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence (Istanbul Convention)

Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings

European Social Charter

Other Standards and Mechanisms