A non-legislative resolution on the Council of Europe’s Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence, also known as the İstanbul Convention, was adopted by the European Parliament on Thursday.
There were 500 votes in favor of the resolution with 91 against and 50 abstentions. The European Parliament called on the European Council to urgently conclude the EU ratification of the convention.
The resolution urges the seven member states that have signed but not yet ratified it — Bulgaria, Czechia, Hungary, Lithuania, Latvia, Slovakia and the UK — to do so without delay.
All member states should ensure that the convention is properly implemented and enforced by allocating adequate funding and human resources to the right services. Providing appropriate training for all professionals such as magistrates, doctors and police officers dealing with victims is particularly essential.
The EP also reiterated its position in favor of specifically earmarking 193.6 million euros for action for preventing and combating gender-based violence in the Rights and Values program.
The İstanbul Convention, adopted by the Council of Europe in 2011, entered into force in 2014 and was signed by the EU in June 2017. It is the first international instrument of its kind — states that ratify it must follow comprehensive, legally binding standards to prevent gender-based violence, protect victims and punish perpetrators.
According to a 2014 Fundamental Rights Agency survey, one in three women in the EU has experienced physical and/or sexual violence since the age of 15. Fifty-five percent of women have been confronted with one or more forms of sexual harassment (11 percent have been subjected to cyber harassment). One in 20 have been raped.