Estonia: Minister of Justice Signs Istanbul Convention

On December 2, Estonia became the thirty-seventh country to sign the Council of Europe Convention on Preventing and Combating Violence against Women and Domestic Violence (Istanbul Convention). The Istanbul Convention, which entered into force on August 1, 2014, 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.

The Estonian Parliament must ratify the Convention in order for Estonia to be legally bound by its terms. However, by signing the Istanbul Convention, Estonia’s Minister of Justice Andres Anvelt said that his country “has made a promise to actively fight against [violence against women].”

To date, fifteen countries have ratified the Istanbul Convention. Another twenty-two, including Estonia, have signed the Convention as the first step towards ratification.

Compiled fromEstonia signs Istanbul Convention against gender-based and domestic violence, Estonian Public Broadcasting (December 2, 2014).