Europe: Council of Europe Issues Guidance on Istanbul Convention

The Council of Europe (COE) has issued its first three papers detailing state obligations under individual articles of the COE’s Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence (Istanbul Convention). According to the COE, the collection of papers is intended to act as a “how to guide” to help states effectively implement each article of the Convention.

The first COE papers address Article 12 (“Prevention of violence against women”), Article 13 (“Raising awareness of violence against women”), and Article 16 (“Domestic and sexual violence perpetrator programmes”). The papers include a description of state obligations under the relevant article of the Istanbul Convention, recommended best practices, and related research and resources. The COE will release papers on additional Convention articles in the future.

The Istanbul Convention entered into force on August 1, 2014. The Convention, named for its adoption in Istanbul 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. To date, fifteen countries have ratified the Istanbul Convention and are legally bound by its terms. Another twenty-one countries have signed the Convention, the first step towards ratification.

Compiled from: Collection of papers on the Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence, Council of Europe (October 7, 2014).