Istanbul Convention


July 5, 2022

The Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence, or the Istanbul Convention (English: Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence; Istanbul Convention) is an international agreement of the Council of Europe that criminalizes, protects victims and prevents violence against women and girls, namely domestic violence (including psychological and economic), sexual violence (rape, including marital rape, and sexual harassment), honor killings and other crimes justified by "honor" (pouring acid, burning widows, bride murders), female genital mutilation, forced sterilizations, abortions and marriages, stalking and other gender-related violence. The Convention defines violence against women as a violation of human rights and a form of discrimination and proposes systematic and controlled strategies to eradicate these phenomena. Opened for signature on May 11, 2011 in Istanbul, Turkey, entered into force on August 1, 2014, and is continuously open for signature by any country in the world. On March 12, 2012, Turkey was the first to ratify the Convention, followed by 36 countries from 2013 to 2022 (Albania, Andorra, Austria, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Greece, Georgia, Denmark, Estonia, Ireland, Iceland, Spain, Italy, Cyprus, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Malta, Moldova, Monaco, the Netherlands, Germany, Norway, North Macedonia, Poland, Portugal, Romania, San Marino, Serbia, Slovenia, Ukraine, Finland, France, Croatia, Montenegro, Switzerland, Sweden). As of January 2018, it was signed by 45 countries and the EU. Ukraine, one of the author countries of the Convention, signed it on November 7, 2011, and ratified it on June 20, 2022. The purpose of the convention is to prevent violence, protect victims and "end impunity for criminals." The Convention does not require the legalization of same-sex marriage or other regulation of private life, does not address sexual orientation, gender identity or transgenderism, and does not regulate family structures: it does not define "family" and does not promote a particular type of family arrangement. The convention does not only protect women, nor does it regulate religious norms or beliefs. Despite this, part of the religious, ultra-right and �