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Statement by Belgian Foreign Minister and Committee of Ministers Chairman Didier Reynders and Secretary General Thorbjørn Jagland

Strasbourg , 

Turning vision into reality: the Council of Europe Istanbul Convention - response to women victims of violence across the world

On the International Day on Ending Violence against Women, the Council of Europe remembers the hundreds and thousands of women who suffer unspeakable violence, at the hands of their partners, family, and strangers. We remember the women who live with fear and feel unsafe whether they are inside the walls of their home, in the workplace, at school, in a war zone or just walking in the street.

The Council of Europe Istanbul Convention remembers and honours them. Legally binding, and in force since the 1st of August, the Istanbul Convention has been hailed as the most visionary treaty to tackle this serious violation of human rights, a prime example of a comprehensive legal framework.  To the women that suffer violence it gives hope. To all of us it gives the vision and the tools to deal with this scourge.

The Council of Europe is committed to ensuring that this Convention is fully implemented - its monitoring mechanism, that will start operating in about one year’s time, will hold all those accountable who have a role to play in combating violence against women. The world needs “policies with punch”  like the Istanbul Convention. Its entry into force marks a defining moment to make sure women live a life safe from fear and safe from violence.

See also:
Council of Europe and Amnesty International release guide against female genital mutilation
25 November - Against Domestic Violence