On June 20, the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine ratified the Council of Europe Convention on the Preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence (Istanbul Convention). It is a document that introduces an international standard for the protection of women from all forms of violence, including domestic violence, and allows for new opportunities for international cooperation to protect citizens.
"Ratification of the Convention confirms Ukraine's commitment to the introduction of European standards and approaches to the protection of human rights and freedoms. The Government and Parliament of Ukraine have done great work to create a mechanism to combat and prevent violence, the necessary legislation has been implemented as well. Ratification of the Convention consolidates this work," commented Olha Stefanishyna, Deputy Prime Minister for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration of Ukraine.
She noted that the protection of human rights and freedoms was of special importance during the process of assessment by the European Commission of Ukraine's readiness for EU candidate status, and further progress in this direction is crucial for Ukraine's European integration.
Ratification of the Convention will allow Ukraine to become part of independent international monitoring and receive support to strengthen national efforts to combat violence, as well as strengthen legal mechanisms for prosecuting foreign nationals who have committed crimes related to violence, not only in Ukraine but also abroad.
"Currently, more than 5 million Ukrainians, mostly women and children, have left for the EU, fleeing hostilities. Citizens of Ukraine, wherever they may be, should feel that the state cares about them and stands ready to protect them," said the Deputy Prime Minister.
In the course of the preparation of the draft decision, all stakeholders were consulted and discussed to take into account possible cautions. Representatives of the Council of Europe were consulted separately and a letter of explanation was received from the Secretary General of the Council of Europe.
Istanbul Convention - The Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence, which was opened for signature on 11 May 2011 in Istanbul, Turkey.
Countries that have acceded to the convention must criminalize psychological violence, harassment, physical and sexual violence, forced marriage, forced abortion and sterilization.
In 2011, Ukraine was among the first countries to sign the Istanbul Convention.