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Mr Mendes BotaPACE committee on Equal Opportunities calls for a framework convention
Strasbourg, 24 June 2008
JosÚ Mendes Bota (Portugal, EPP/CD), Rapporteur for PACE Committee on Equal Opportunities for Women and Men, said today, with the support of Council of Europe Secretary General Terry Davis, that it was overwhelmingly important for the Council of Europe to prepare a framework convention covering the severest and most widespread forms of violence against women in Europe.

The committee approved the introductory memorandum by the Portuguese parliamentarian, which invites the Council of Europe to draft a legal instrument to help ensure that women are protected against domestic violence, the perpetrators are prosecuted and preventive measures are taken to combat domestic violence, sexual assaults (including rape and "marital rape"), harassment, forced marriages, "crimes of honour" and female genital mutilation.

The rapporteur stresses in the memorandum that the involvement of national parliaments in the campaign has helped to bring about legislative changes in several member states and that numerous measures to raise awareness have been taken in parliaments. He adds, however, that the minimum legislative standards for combating domestic violence have by no means been attained. The mobilisation must continue.

The final report taking stock of the parliamentary dimension of the Council of Europe Campaign to Combat Violence against Women, including Domestic Violence, and of the outlook for the future will be submitted to PACE at its 2008 autumn part-session.