Back Istanbul Convention: Council of Europe expert group on violence against women issues reports on Greece, Ireland and Republic of Moldova

GREVIO Strasbourg 14 November 2023
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Istanbul Convention: Council of Europe expert group on violence against women issues reports on Greece, Ireland and Republic of Moldova

GREVIO’s baseline evaluation report on Greece welcomes positive steps since Greece became a party to the Istanbul Convention in October 2018, but also points out shortcomings.

GREVIO praises the establishment of 74 specialised police units to improve law enforcement responses to violence against women, the adoption of guidelines for police intervention in domestic violence cases and enhanced police collection of quantitative and qualitative data on gender-based violence. It also welcomes changes to Greece’s legal framework on violence against women, including the adoption of a definition of rape based on the notion of freely given consent.

However, the report also raises several concerns. For example, Greece lacks rape crisis centres and/or sexual violence referral centres, which is especially worrisome since GREVIO’s evaluation highlights “high rates of attrition in cases of violence against women and low conviction rates, particularly in cases of rape”.

Furthermore, only 20 shelters for women victims of violence operate in Greece, with a total capacity of approximately 450 individual beds. Measured against the Istanbul Convention target of one family place per 10,000 head of population, the number of places available in Greece should be “significantly increased,” GREVIO reports.

The report covers the situation as observed by a GREVIO delegation during an evaluation visit to Greece in February 2023.

 GREVIO and Greece

GREVIO’s first report evaluating Ireland’s implementation of the “Istanbul Convention” highlights a series of positive measures taken by the Irish authorities in recent years, including the adoption of the Criminal Justice Female Genital Mutilation Act of 2012, the Domestic Violence Act of 2018 and the Criminal Law Sexual Offences Act of 2017.

It also welcomes Ireland’s third National Strategy on Domestic, Sexual and Gender-Based Violence, the adoption by the police of a tool to evaluate the risk to domestic violence victims and the state funding of two national telephone helplines in different languages.

At the same time, GREVIO has identified a number of issues where urgent improvement is needed in Ireland to improve compliance with the convention. Policies and support services have overlooked or not sufficiently addressed some serious forms of violence against women, says the report. Ireland is also significantly lagging behind in the area of data collection,

In conclusion, GREVIO underlines that it is necessary to bridge the gap between the progressive policies and legislation that Ireland has enacted and the reality on the ground.

The report published today covers the period up until 26 October 2023.

 GREVIO and Ireland

In its first report evaluating the implementation of the Council of Europe’s  Istanbul Convention by the Republic of Moldova, GREVIO welcomes the significant commitment demonstrated by the national authorities to combat violence against women and to implement the treaty, while it identifies a number of issues that require urgent action.

The 2007 Law on Preventing and Combating Family Violence, and recent amendments to the legislation, have improved the protection of women victims of violence and the prosecution of perpetrators. GREVIO also welcomes the establishment of the first sexual assault centre in Ungheni. 

However, the report highlights that, so far, policies and laws have primarily focused on domestic violence and, to a certain extent, on sexual violence, failing to tackle other forms of violence against women, such as forced marriage, female genital mutilation, forced abortion and forced sterilisation.

The report has been published together with the comments received from the Moldovan government. The Republic of Moldova ratified the convention on 31 January 2022.

 GREVIO and the Republic of Moldova