To raise awareness the Parliament buildings in Brussels will be lit up in orange tonight in honour of today being the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. This week MEPs called on the EU to adhere to the Istanbul Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence.
The Council of Europe’s Istanbul Convention is the most comprehensive international treaty and first legally binding instrument that criminalises gender-based violence, foreseeing sanctions and measures to combat impunity, prevent crime and protect victims.
The Istanbul Convention entered into force in August 2014 and although all EU countries have signed it, only fourteen of them have ratified it. This week Parliament President Martin Schulz signed a letter to the Council Presidency urging it to speed up the process at EU level and asking the remaining EU countries to ratify.
On 23 November MEPs questioned representatives of the Council and the European Commission on the progress being made on the EU signing the convention and the following day adopted a resolution urging EU countries to proceed.
˝I will repeat, unfortunately, once again, the dark yet true figures that tell us that one in three women in the European Union has experienced some sort of physical or sexual abuse, 75% of women are victims of sexual abuse in the workplace, and one in ten women are victims of sexual abuse through new technologies,˝ said MEP Šuica.
In March 2016 the European Commission proposed that the European Union ratify the Istanbul Convention. It has been ratified by 15 member states of the Council of Europe, of which, for example, many are countries neighboring countries of Croatia: Albania, Austria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Italy, Serbia.
˝As member of the EU Croatia certainly does not want to be the only country in the region that has not yet ratified this important convention, which it signed on 22 January 2013. During the coming months we expect the remaining ratification, however today I want to remind the Croatian Parliament about ratification of the Istanbul Convention, as I already did one year ago,˝ added MEP Šuica, explaining that ratification in the parliaments will contribute to the criminalisation of all forms of violence against women, authorizing the police to remove the perpetrator of domestic violence from the family home, improving access to shelters for victims of violence, because violence against women does not belong in the private sphere because it is a serious crime.