Status of the Council of Europe Convention on Violence Against Women
Wednesday, April 3, 2013 10:55 AM

The Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence (also known as the Istanbul Convention) is the first multi-country legally-binding human rights instrument that provides practical tools for addressing issues of violence against women. In addition, it provides a powerful model of the importance of women's human rights. “Beyond the legal basis that a convention provides, these documents also have a symbolic importance. Each new agreement among sovereign States that reaffirms women’s inviolable human rights tilts the balance toward positive change,” noted Lakshmi PuriUN Women Deputy Executive Director.

The new treaty opened for signature on 11/05/2011. Of the 47 member states of the Council of Europe, 26 have signed the treaty, including Albania, Andorra, Austria, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Italy, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, Montenegro, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Turkey, Ukraine, and the United Kingdom. Of these, three have ratified: Albania, Portugal, and Spain. Seven additional ratifications are needed before the treaty can enter into force.