Joining forces around a landmark treaty on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence

The Council of Europe Convention on Preventing and Combating Violence against Women and Domestic Violence, also known as the Istanbul Convention after the city in which it opened for signature 10 years ago, on 11 May 2011, is the most far-reaching international legal instrument to set out binding obligations to prevent and combat violence against women. Thirty-four member states of the Council of Europe have ratified it, twelve have signed it – along with the European Union – and it is used as a basis for action by many countries outside Europe.

The Istanbul Convention recognises violence against women as a violation of human rights and a form of discrimination against women. Based on a victim-centred approach, it offers practical tools to ensure the protection of women and girls, their safety and empowerment. It links these to the wider goal of achieving equality between women and men.

Over the past 10 years, it has guided numerous states in advancing their legislation and policies in order to prevent and combat violence against women effectively. The convention makes a difference for women and girls and represents an important advocacy tool. Celebrating its 10-year anniversary means celebrating its transformative power and uniting behind this landmark treaty.

Quote of the day Quote of the day

Slavenka Drakulić

Journalist and writer (Croatia)


 The Istanbul Convention is one of the only international joint efforts to establish a legal framework for reducing violence against women. It would be ideal if such a convention was not needed . However, even when only formally adopted, it is already a step in the right direction, something that women can rely on when they need help. 

 The Istanbul Convention

 Infographics and brochure on the four pillars of the Istanbul Convention: prevention, protection, prosecution and co-ordinated policies.