Declaration by Karen Ellemann, Minister for Equal Opportunities, on behalf of the Danish Chairmanship
Violence against women and girls is the most common violation of the human rights of women, in Europe and beyond. It affects women of all ages, and from any social or economic background, sometimes at the cost of their lives. More must be done to eliminate this scourge from our societies.
Combating all forms of violence against women and girls has long been a key priority for the Council of Europe. The Council of Europe Convention on Preventing and Combating Violence against Women and Domestic Violence (Istanbul Convention) is the most far-reaching international treaty to tackle this serious violation of human rights. Denmark, which ratified the Convention in 2014, is fully committed to its implementation and calls on all member States, which have not yet done so to ratify it.
Violence and sexual harassment of women in public spaces are also strongly condemned by the Istanbul Convention. Violence in crowds and digital sexual abuse are other dimensions of violence against women and wide-spread global problems which needs to be tackled. Violence in public spaces and online might restrict women’s freedom of speech. These violations need to be reported and call for a comprehensive response.