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The National Office for the Prevention of Domestic, Sexual and Gender-based Violence.

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  1. Minister Flanagan announces ratification of the Istanbul Convention by Ireland on International Women’s Day
  2. Convention requires criminalising or legally sanctioning violence against women including domestic violence, sexual harassment & psychological violence

Minister Flanagan announces ratification of the Istanbul Convention by Ireland on International Women’s Day

 

Convention requires criminalising or legally sanctioning violence against women including domestic violence, sexual harassment & psychological violence

 

8 March 2019

 

The Minister for Justice and Equality, Charlie Flanagan TD, has today announced Ireland’s ratification of the Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combatting violence against women and domestic violence (the Istanbul Convention). The Convention is a significant international legal instrument which requires criminalising or legally sanctioning different forms of violence against women, including domestic violence, sexual harassment and psychological violence.

 

Announcing the ratification following a special Government meeting held to mark International Women’s Day, Minister Flanagan said: “Protecting and supporting victims has been a key priority for this Government. Domestic and sexual violence can have devastating consequences for victims as well as society as a whole. Ratifying the Convention delivers on a Government commitment and sends an important message that Ireland does not tolerate such violence. That message is all the more appropriate given that today is International Women’s Day.”

 

Formal ratification took place at a ceremony at the Council of Europe in Strasbourg this morning. Council of Europe Secretary General, Thorbjørn Jagland, welcomed the ratification, saying: “We welcome Ireland’s ratification as yet more proof of the success of our convention, which helps to prevent violence, helps victims, and ensures that perpetrators are brought to justice. All our member states need the Istanbul Convention to more effectively prosecute perpetrators and to provide support and protection to their victims and to implement measures that will help prevent the violence from occurring in the first place.”

 

Ireland signed the Convention in November 2015. While much of Irish legislation and administrative practice already implemented many of the provisions prior to signing, a number of pieces of legislation and other actions needed to be carried out before formal ratification could take place. These outstanding actions were identified in an action plan in October 2015 and included in the Second National Strategy on Domestic, Sexual and Gender-based Violence, which was published in January 2016.

 

Key actions in the Strategy include the training of public sector officials, the implementation of the Victims Directive and the enactment of key legislation such as the Victims of Crime Act 2017 and the Domestic Violence Act 2018. The recent enactment of the Criminal Law (Extraterritorial Jurisdiction) Act 2019 was the final legislative action required to enable today’s ratification to proceed.

 

The Minister added, “Today’s ratification of the Istanbul Convention is the result of much work from many people over a number of years. Ratification does not mean the end of our efforts. The implementation of the actions of the Second National Strategy on Domestic, Sexual and gender-based Violence is ongoing. The Government will continue to work in providing protections to victims of domestic and sexual violence and holding perpetrators to account. The prevalence of this violence means we cannot lessen our efforts in this regard. Rather ratification signals a renewal of our commitments.”