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NWCI calls on Government to ratify the Istanbul Convention on International Women’s Day

Published: Tuesday, March 05, 2019

Following a motion on the Istanbul Convention in the Dail today, the National Women’s Council of Ireland (NWCI) has called on the Government to ratify the Convention on International Women’s Day, this Friday, 8th March.  

Orla O’Connor, Director of NWCI, said

“After many years of campaigning by NWCI and violence against women organisations in Ireland, the Dail motion today has finally paved the way for a ratification of the Istanbul Convention. We are calling on the Government to ratify this important convention on sexual harassment and violence against women without delay on International Women’s Day this Friday.”

Orla O’Connor continued,

“Over the past years, the context has changed in Ireland, with a wave of women speaking out against domestic and sexual violence. Ratifying the convention will provide the missing strategic framework to ensure our response to violence against women addresses the scale and complexity of the issue. It is an opportunity to bring about the systematic and institutional change needed to facilitate the protection of women and the accountability of perpetrators.”


For more information, please contact Silke Paasche, Head of Communications, NWCI, Tel. 085 858 9104, silkep@nwci.ie

Notes to Editors:

The Council of Europe Convention on Preventing and Combating Violence against Women, or Istanbul Convention, provides a comprehensive framework to tackle violence against women in all its forms.  It was adopted by the Council of Europe Committee of Ministers on 7 April 2011.

Ireland signed up to the convention in 2015. The Government agreed at the time of the signing of the Istanbul Convention to an action plan that contained outstanding legislative and administrative actions identified as necessary to enable Ireland’s ratification of the convention. Those actions were incorporated into the second national strategy on domestic, sexual and gender-based violence, which was published in January 2016.

Since then, a number of actions have been taken by the Government on the convention. - The Domestic Violence Act 2018, the Criminal Justice (Victims of Crime) Act 2017, the Criminal Law (Sexual Offences) Act 2017, and Criminal Law (Extraterritorial Jurisdiction) Act 2019.

As of February 2019, 45 countries have signed the convention and 33 have ratified it.  Ireland’s signature should bring the number of ratifications to 34.

Countries that have ratified (33)

Albania, Andorra,  Austria,  Belgium,  Bosnia and Herzegovina,  Croatia,  Cyprus,  Denmark,  Estonia,  Finland,  France,  Georgia,  Germany, Greece,  Iceland,  Italy, Luxembourg,  Malta,  Monaco,  Montenegro,  Netherlands,  Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, San Marino, Serbia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, and Turkey.