THE COUNCIL OF EUROPE CONVENTION ON PREVENTING AND COMBATING VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN AND DOMESTIC VIOLENCE (ISTANBUL CONVENTION)

The Council Of Europe Convention On Preventing And Combating Violence Against Women and Domestic Violence, also known as the Istanbul Convention, is the newest and most comprehensive instrument in combating violence against women. Having opened for signature in May 2011, the Convention came into force in 2014. The very year it was opened for signature, Turkey became the first to sign and ratify the convention without any reservations. Currently signed by 46 states and the European Union, the convention has been ratified by 32 countries. The prevention of all forms of violence against women and domestic violence, the protection of victims of violence, the prosecution and punishment of offenders, and lastly the effective implementation of integrated, comprehensive, and well-coordinated policies to combat violence against women constitute the four main pillars of the convention. As a human rights treaty on combating violence against women, the Istanbul Convention is not only concerned with punishing perpetrators or ending impunity, but also creating the conditions for women to live their lives safely, without fear, free from violence and discrimination, and be entitled to reparations for any violence they have faced.

The implementation of commitments made by signatory states is monitored by an independent group of experts called the GREVIO Committee. Starting its first country evaluation procedures in 2016, GREVIO embarked on Turkey’s country evaluation in 2017. As part of the evaluation procedure, Turkey submitted its state report to the Committee in July 2017. A shadow NGO report was finalized and brought to the Committee in September 2017 by independent women’s and LGBTI+ organizations coming together under the Istanbul Convention Monitoring Platform – Turkey, who then held a meeting with the GREVIO Committee in November 2017.

As Women for Women’s Human Rights – New Ways, we have been active participants in all stages pertaining to the convention, starting from its drafting to the evaluation procedure including the preparation of the shadow NGO report and the GREVIO meeting with independent women’s organizations held as part of its country evaluation visit.

The state report submitted by the Republic of Turkey to the GREVIO Committee is available here.

The shadow report  prepared by the Istanbul Convention Monitoring Platform – Turkey is available here.

GREVIO’s evaluation report on Turkey is available here.