International Policy

The Council of Europe Convention on Preventing and Combating Violence Against Women and Domestic Violence (The Istanbul Convention)

The Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence provides a blueprint for the protection of victims of domestic violence and the prosecution of perpetrators; it also outlines the measures the state needs to undertake and the services it needs to provide as part of a comprehensive response to preventing violence against women including domestic violence.

Ireland has yet to sign or ratify the Convention although Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald has stated her intention to introduce legislation that would make it feasible to introduce sign and ratify the convention. Sonas supports the immediate ratification of this convention.

The protective framework recognises that the vast majority of victims of domestic violence are women as part of a wider pattern of discrimination and inequality but it also extends to men, children and the elderly who are exposed to violence within the family or domestic unit. The Convention makes it the obligation of the state to fully address violence against women; failure to do so is an indictment of the state and its services.

Summary of the Convention