The Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence (Istanbul Convention) is a Council of Europe convention against violence against women and domestic violence which was opened for signature on 11 May 2011, in Istanbul, Turkey.
The convention aims at prevention of violence, victim protection and “to end with the impunity of perpetrators”. As of November 2015, it had been signed by 39 countries. The Istanbul Convention is based on the understanding that violence against women is a form of gender-based violence that is committed against women because they are women. It is the obligation of the state to fully address it in all its forms and to take measures to prevent violence against women, protect its victims and prosecute the perpetrators. Failure to do so would make it the responsibility of the state. The convention leaves no doubt: there can be no real equality between women and men if women experience gender-based violence on a large-scale and state agencies and institutions turn a blind eye.Download PDF