First Step Toward Ratification of European Council’s Convention on Preventing and Combating Violence against Women (Istanbul Convention)

Poland signed on to the European Council’s Convention on Preventing and Combating Violence Against Women last month. Government Plenipotentiary for Equal Treatment, Agnieszka Kozłowska-Rajewicz said, “It is a first step towards ratification of the convention.” Ms. Kozlowska-Rajewicz also believes that the signing “may already cause changes in people's thinking about domestic violence.”
 
Once the Convention is ratified, participant countries are obligated to implement necessary measures such as training professionals to aid and provide treatment for victims of violence, empowering police to remove a perpetrator of domestic violence from his or her home, and setting up treatment programs for perpetrators. Governments must also ensure access to adequate information, establish easily accessible shelters in sufficient numbers for victims of rape and other violence, and implement country-wide 24/7 free telephone help lines.
 
The Convention was adopted on April 7, 2011 and will enter in to force following 10 ratifications. As of today, although 25 countries have signed the Convention, only Turkey has ratified it.
 
Compiled from: Mardosz, Marta, Poland Signs Convention On Preventing Violence Against Women, AWID (19 December 2012).