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NWCI criticises Tusla’s failure to comply with Istanbul Convention requirements on refuge spaces

Published: Monday, April 08, 2019

The National Women’s Council of Ireland (NWCI) stated today that Tusla’s failure to comply with the Istanbul Convention regarding the provision of refuge spaces is completely unacceptable.  Tusla, the Child and Family Agency maintains that it needs to provide only one refuge space for every 10,000 women when the convention is clear that the requirement is one space for every 10,000 people. This means an additional 331 bed spaces are required throughout the country.

Orla O’Connor, Director of NWCI said,

“On International Women’s Day this year, the Government ratified the Istanbul Convention, yet less than a month later we have a situation whereby the child and family agency Tusla is refusing to comply with the Convention. The Council of Europe Convention sets out the minimum refuge spaces required by a State, and at present, Ireland only have one third the recommended spaces, while only two counties overall have enough refuges to meet binding Council of Europe requirements.”

Orla O’Connor said,

“Refuge spaces are critically needed, to protect women and their children fleeing from abusive partners. We know that many women stay in abusive relationships simply because they have no where else to go, so alongside other preventative measures, women must have access to emergency spaces that are safe and local, to ensure they can safely leave situations of domestic abuse.” 

“It is the State’s obligation to protect women and children from domestic abuse. Tusla must be required to put a clear and urgent plan in place to provide the required number of refuge spaces in order to keep women and children safe in Ireland.  NWCI is calling on the Government to ensure Ireland’s compliance with the Istanbul Convention as a matter of urgency.”


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