Croatia: Government to Prioritize Ratification of Convention on Violence against Women as New Council of Europe Chair
Sunday, May 20, 2018 11:10 AM

Croatia has announced its intention to advocate for the Council of Europe’s (COE) Convention on preventing and combatting violence against women and domestic violence (Istanbul Convention) as the new Chair of the COE. Croatia’s European and Foreign Affairs Minister stated that her country wanted to share Croatia’s experience in ratifying the Istanbul Convention to help convince other countries to do the same. Earlier this year, the COE highlighted the concern that “misconceptions” about the Convention were impeding the ratification process, as many conservative groups oppose the Convention because they believe it undermines “traditional family values.” Croatia said that it would “focus on the ‘essence of the Convention, its fundamental purpose and that is the protection of women from violence and domestic violence.’” 


The Istanbul Convention, named for its adoption in Istanbul, Turkey in 2011, is Europe's first comprehensive treaty designed to combat all forms of violence against women, including stalking, sexual harassment, rape, domestic violence, forced marriage and female genital mutilation. It requires states to strengthen their efforts in four primary areas: protection of victims, prevention of violence, prosecution of perpetrators, and provision of victim services, such as shelters and medical care. An expert group, GREVIO, monitors state compliance with the Convention.


A current list of signatures and ratifications is available on the Council of Europe’s website.


Compiled fromCroatia to Advocate for Istanbul Convention as Chair of Council of Europe, Total Croatia News (May 14, 2018).