Historic day for women as Ireland ratifies Istanbul Convention

• Spokespeople available

In an important step forward in the fight against gender-based violence against women, the Irish government has ratified the Istanbul convention today, to ensure better protection and support for victims of such violence. Reacting to the news that Ireland has become the 34th country to ratify the treaty, Fiona Crowley, Research and Legal Manager for Amnesty International Ireland said:

“2018 was an historic year for women’s rights in Ireland, with the removal of the constitutional ban on abortion. It is fitting to be marking International Women’s Day this year with the ratification of the Istanbul Convention, which we hope will have a real impact on the lives of women in Ireland. We also hope this move inspires other European countries, and the EU, to do the same.

“But for the Convention to be effective, ratification must be accompanied by real, practical steps by the Irish government. Women and girls who have experienced gender-based violence must be able to access support services, hotlines, medical services, counselling and legal aid. The government must ensure enough resources for the NGOs that provide these vital services.”

For more information or to arrange an interview, contact Alison Abrahams on alison.abrahams@amnesty.org +32 2 548 27 73 or +32 483 680 812 or Kate O’Sullivan, Communications Manager, Amnesty International Ireland. +353 (0)858148986, media@amnesty.ie

Background

The Istanbul Convention, adopted in Istanbul by all 47 Council of Europe Member States on 11 May 2011, is the first international treaty specifically targeting violence against women and domestic violence. It sets out minimum standards on prevention, protection, prosecution and the development of integrated policies. Countries ratifying the treaty are obligated to protect and support victims of such violence. Ireland will become the 34th country to ratify the treaty.

To date, 46 of 47 of the countries that are Council of Europe members have signed the Convention and 33 of them have also ratified it.

Amnesty International was instrumental in the process of drafting the Convention, as an observer, by providing information based on the experience of NGOs in working with survivors of gender-based violence, as well as best practices, existing obligations under international human rights law and standards. This treaty is therefore a reflection of core international standards and the views of civil society.