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S&Ds call on EU governments to cease pushback against women’s rights and finally ratify Istanbul Convention


Justice & Home Affairs
The Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament today strongly urged the 11 EU member states that still have not ratified the Istanbul Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence to do so without any further delays.
The European Parliament’s co-rapporteur on the Istanbul Convention, S&D MEP Christine Revault d’Allonnes-Bonnefoy, said:
“While the Bulgarian government, who are currently holding the EU Presidency, withdraws its bill of ratification of the Istanbul Convention and spearheads the movement against it, women continue to be beaten, raped, harassed, and even killed all across Europe for no other reason than being women. This violence is directed against women, because they are women. It is shocking that some governments excuse their reluctance to ratify the Istanbul Convention by the very fact that the treaty recognises the existence of gender-based violence. How are we supposed to solve a problem, if we refuse to identify it correctly?
“We call on the 11 EU governments, both those who are dragging their feet and those who are actively blocking progress, to ratify the Istanbul Convention without any further delays. The Istanbul Convention is the best tool we have to protect the victims and prosecute the perpetrators. We owe this to o ur citizens. Respect women’s dignity.”
S&D Groupspokeswoman for women’s rights and gender equality, MEP Iratxe García Pérez, added:
“Violence against women in all its forms is a violation of human rights. The Istanbul Convention, as the first legally binding international treaty, is a powerful tool to prevent and combat all forms of gender-based violence. Yet, resistance against progress is deep and it is growing. It is shameful that 11 EU countries have still not ratified the Istanbul Convention that would make life better for millions of women across Europe.
“We Socialists and Democrats are deeply worried by the backsliding in the fight against women’s rights and the roll-back of sexual and reproductive rights in some EU countries. We will continue to be watchful and fight until all women are protected against all forms of violence and discrimination.”
Note to the editor:
The Istanbul Convention is the most comprehensive international treaty and first legally binding instrument to fight violence against women and commits signatories to implement measures to protect victims, persecute perpetrators and prevent these crimes. It was adopted by the Council of Europe in 2011 and entered into force in August 2014. The EU signed the Istanbul Convention in June 2017. All EU countries have signed the Istanbul Convention, yet only 17 EU countries have to date ratified it, namely: Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Malta, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia, Spain and Sweden.


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