1. The Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence marks an important step in the fight against this plight. By signing the Convention, numerous member states have manifested their firm intention to establish a high level of victim protection in Europe. No effort should be spared to encourage all member states to sign and ratify the Convention and achieve its entry into force.
2. The Convention establishes common standards on preventing violence, protecting victims and prosecuting perpetrators. In addition, it contains an anti-discrimination clause and refers to the situation of particularly vulnerable groups of victims.
3. Measures to combat stalking constitute the logical next step in the fight on violence against women. Most victims of stalking are women, who are persistently followed, watched or harassed by former partners or strangers.
4. Political action is needed to support the implementation of legal measures against stalking. The first step should be a study of the legal provisions against stalking in force in Council of Europe member States. An evaluation of the enforcement of these provisions and their impact should follow.
5. Subsequently, uniform standards for combating stalking should be recommended. The protection of victims should be ensured in all member States, including by applying restraining orders (stay-away provisions, reporting duties).
6. The Parliamentary Assembly should recommend that the Committee of Ministers examine the member States’ legal framework on stalking and adopt a recommendation addressed to member States.