On 15 September, the Second Steering Committee Meeting of the Project “The Istanbul Convention: a tool to advance in fighting violence against women and domestic violence in Ukraine” was held online, attended by 40 participants including the Ministry of Social Policy of Ukraine, the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine, the National Police of Ukraine, the Office of the Commissioner of Gender Equality, the National School of Judges of Ukraine, the Coordination Centre of Free Legal Aid, the National Bar Association of Ukraine, the Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine, the Ministry of Health of Ukraine and other stakeholders.
Olena Lytvynenko, the Deputy Head of the Council of Europe Office in Ukraine, Olga Revuk, Deputy Minister of Social Policy for the European integration, Kateryna Pavlichenko, the Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs of Ukraine and Marta Becerra, Head of Unit, Capacity building and co-operation projects unit, Gender Equality Division greeted the participants and emphasised the role of the Council of Europe in supporting ratification of the Istanbul Convention in Ukraine, as well as supporting other legislation and by-laws related to counteracting domestic violence in line with European standards.
Steering Committee members were apprised of activities implemented in order to provide strategic guidance and facilitate implementation of ongoing or future activities. In its two years of implementation, the project has so far:
- Strengthened the justice system response to victims of violence against women and domestic violence through a training of trainers for 24 judges, an online HELP course for 26 judges, and providing technical expertise for 91 Ukrainian prosecutors.
- Reinforced legal aid to victims through training of 14 trainers, and 6 cascade trainings for 210 lawyers, with tailor-made materials including a training manual for lawyers.
- Benefitted Ukraine’s national policies and practices on violence against women and domestic violence through enhanced guidance on multi-agency risk identification and assessment through development of a Report on Risk assessment standards and methodologies, the development of a Resource toolbox, and an exchange of views and sharing of good practice and presentation of IC provisions during a Roundtable Series on the topics of Awareness Raising, Multi-agency Coordination/Data Collection, and Gender and Media.
The Steering Committee members positively noted the effectiveness of the Project and efforts to combat violence against women and domestic violence, and stressed the importance of the Council of Europe cooperation to strengthen human rights in Ukraine and improve the quality of people's lives.
The Istanbul Convention project will run in Ukraine until 31 December 2020.