Istanbul Convention of violence against women
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Poland has recently confirmed that it is seeking to withdraw from the European treaty on violence against women, which the right-wing Cabinet of the country says violates parents’ rights by requiring schools to teach children about gender.
- Poland’s ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party and its coalition partners closely align themselves with the Catholic Church and promote a conservative social agenda.
- PiS has long complained about the Istanbul Convention, which Poland ratified under a previous centrist government in 2015.
- The government says the treaty is disrespectful towards religion and requires teaching liberal social policies in schools, although in the past it has stopped short of a decision to quit.
About Istanbul Convention on domestic violence
- The original name of the Istanbul Convention is the “Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence”. Since that name is quite a mouthful, it is mostly referred to as the Istanbul Convention, where it was first opened for signatures on 11 May 2011.
- On 11 May 2011, the convention was opened for signatures in Istanbul, Turkey. As of today, 12 countries have signed the convention without ratifying it, and 34 countries who have signed, ratified the convention and enforced it. It came into force on 1st August 2014.
- The Istanbul Convention is the first-ever legally binding set of guidelines that creates “a comprehensive legal framework and approach to combat violence against women” and is focused on preventing domestic violence, protecting victims, and prosecuting accused offenders.
- It also states that violence against women is a violation of human rights and a form of discrimination.
- The Convention does outline which acts must be criminalised by the participating countries. Such offences include psychological violence, stalking, physical violence, sexual violence (including rape), all non-consensual acts of a sexual nature with a person, forced marriage, female genital mutilation, forced abortion, and forced sterilisation, honour crimes as well as sexual harassment.