The Istanbul Convention, which is the internationally agreed zero-tolerance norm for violence against women and gender-based violence, is a human rights guarantee. Within the scope of its field, it is the international benchmark and “gold standard” for legislation and policy not only in Europe but worldwide as well. It is the first legally binding international instrument on preventing and combating all forms of violence against women and girls at international level. It establishes a comprehensive framework of legal and policy measures for preventing such violence, supporting victims and punishing perpetrators.
The convention addresses violence against women and domestic violence as a human right issue The Istanbul Convention is the most fundamental and the solemn guarantee in terms of women’s human rights due to the fact that it regulates and retributes cases of domestic (physical, sexual, psychological or economic) violence, female genital mutilation, forced marriage, sexual harassment, sexual violence, stalking, forced abortion and forced sterilization as criminal acts.
Although the convention focuses on the elimination of violence against women, the Convention encourages state parties to implement the convention in cases of gender, race, sexual orientation and age-based violence and discrimination. As of today, the convention has been signed by all European Union (EU) member states and ratified by 21 of them.* The EU has signed the Convention on June 13, 2017. There are ongoing efforts to ratify and implement the convention for all the EU member states.**
In order to combat violence against women and domestic violence, all institutions, organizations and notably Turkish Grand National Assembly (TBMM) and those who govern the country are obliged to implement the Istanbul Convention. The Istanbul Convention is a guarantee for women’s and LGBTI+ human rights. The government must cease their targeting against LGBTI+ communities to excuse their withdrawal from the Convention and the government officials must stop the hate speech, gender and sexual orientation-based discrimination. Clear provisions of the Constitution of Turkey must not be ignored and violated. Despite the decision being published in the Official Gazette on 20 March 2021, it is technically null and void and should be urgently withdrawn.
There is no other example, neither in the world nor in the Council of Europe, of withdrawing from a fundamental human rights convention which takes its name from the city where it was drafted and first signed and whose aim is to protect women against violence, in a manner that is both contrary to domestic and international law.
We invite all global, regional, and local women’s organizations, feminists, women and LGBTI+ rights defenders, – to protect gender-based rights, and be in solidarity with the aim of defending and protecting women’s right to live free from all forms of violence, on every platform, geography with regards to the Istanbul Convention.
- You can support our statements from our social media accounts by following fb, twitter, instagram accounts @kadinkoalisyonu, youtube, Kadın Koalisyonu
And share the hashtag: #IstanbulSozlesmesiYasatir #IstanbulSozlemesiBizim
- You can call on your governments to show their support for every preventive measure in regards to Turkey’s withdrawal from the Istanbul Convention and remind Turkey its obligations to combat all forms of violence against women.
We invite you all to strengthen and expand our solidarity by saying that
Istanbul Convention Saves Lives.
* Avusturya, Belçika, Hırvatistan, Kıbrıs, Danimarka, Estonya, Finlandiya, Fransa, Almanya, Yunanistan, İrlanda, İtalya, Lüksemburg, Malta, Hollanda, Polonya, Portekiz, Romanya, Slovenya, İspanya ve İsveç.
** İstanbul Sözleşmesi’nin bunu yapmayan altı AB üye ülkesi tarafından onaylanması gerekmektedir (Bulgaristan, Çekya, Macaristan, Letonya, Litvanya, Slovakya).