Ukraine becomes latest country to ratify Istanbul Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence.

Irish Legal News

Ukraine has become the 36th state to ratify the Istanbul Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence.

The war-torn country’s parliament yesterday voted by 259-8 to ratify the Convention, a treaty of the Council of Europe which Ukraine signed in 2011.

The Convention sets out minimum standards for governments in Europe on prevention, protection, and prosecution of violence against women and domestic violence.

Marija Pej?inovi? Buri?, secretary general of the Council of Europe, said the ratification was timely given that women and girls “are particularly vulnerable during the conflict”.

“This is a huge step forward in protecting women and girls from all forms of violence, whether in Ukraine or abroad,” she added.

Agnès Callamard, secretary general of Amnesty International, said: “This a historic victory for women’s rights in Ukraine, and a contribution to the change in culture, attitudes and behaviours towards gender-based violence.

“It will ultimately affect the lives of every woman in the country. Today’s vote is a testament to years of campaigning by survivors who have helped to ensure that other women do not have to go through what they endured.”

Ms Callamard continued: “Ratification of the Istanbul Convention is a decisive step in the fight against gender-based violence. It heralds a change in legislation and institutional procedures that will improve safety and justice for the sufferers and fair prosecution for the perpetrators.

“This decision could not be more timely, amid disturbing reports and allegations of sexual violence against Ukrainian women in Russian-occupied territories. Its prompt implementation should equip the Ukrainian authorities to deal with these atrocities, and serve to reassure the survivors and give them confidence to seek justice.”