“Parliaments united in combating domestic violence against women”: mid-term assessment of the Campaign
- Parliamentary Assembly
- Assembly debate on 5 October 2007 (36th Sitting) (see Doc. Doc. 11366, report of the Committee on Equal Opportunities for Women and Men, rapporteur: Mr Mendes Bota). Text adopted by the Assembly on 5 October 2007 (36th Sitting).
1. In its determination to combat violence against women, including domestic violence, the Parliamentary Assembly intends to continue and step up the implementation of the parliamentary dimension of the Council of Europe campaign to combat violence against women, including domestic violence.
2. The Assembly reiterates that the contribution of national parliaments to measures to combat this violence is essential in order to adopt and supervise the implementation of legislation to protect victims, punish perpetrators and prevent this evil, which is the result of the unequal relationship between women and men. Parliamentarians also have a major part to play in informing and raising awareness among the general public in Europe and alerting Europeans to the fact that domestic violence is regarded as a serious violation of human rights and a phenomenon which no cultural or religious consideration can excuse.
3. The Assembly congratulates those national parliaments which have already made a strong commitment to fighting domestic violence against women and contributed actively to the Council of Europe campaign through awareness-raising activities and legislative reform. It encourages them to continue their efforts. To date, 44 contact parliamentarians have been appointed and are working in a network which enables them to pool good practices devised at national level, exchange information to help them analyse the phenomenon of violence against women and adopt effective measures.
4. The Assembly underlines the need for national parliaments to develop close co-operation with national, regional and local authorities, as well as with non-governmental organisations, whose contribution to protecting and helping victims is particularly important.
5. The mobilisation of national parliaments must continue and intensify if the Council of Europe campaign is to have a real impact in all its member states. The Assembly encourages all the national parliaments in the Council of Europe’s member states and states with observer status in the Assembly to continue their activities and, if they have not already done so, to join its campaign “Parliaments united in combating domestic violence against women”.
With this in mind, the Assembly invites national parliaments, which have not yet done so, to:
6.1 appoint a contact parliamentarian, join the Council of Europe campaign and condemn domestic violence as a serious violation of human rights, in particular by adopting a resolution;
6.2 translate the Committee of Ministers’ Recommendation Rec(2002)5 on the protection of women against violence and the Assembly’s “Handbook for parliamentarians” into their national language(s);
6.3 identify, with the appointed contact parliamentarians and regional co-ordinators, loopholes in their legislation;
6.4 make proposals at European level for parliamentary-targeted assistance and networking measures based on parliamentary expertise identified during the campaign;
6.5 promote the setting up of a group of male parliamentarians dedicated to combating violence against women and to create networks between them at European level;
adopt or supervise the application of seven key measures considered to be of priority:
6.6.1 making domestic violence against women, including marital rape, a criminal offence;
6.6.2 regarding violence perpetrated between (former) partners as an aggravating circumstance;
6.6.3 setting up sufficient numbers of safe emergency shelters;
6.6.4 making provision to remove violent spouses or partners and take out protection orders against perpetrators;
6.6.5 guaranteeing effective access to the courts and to protection measures for victims;
6.6.6 allocating sufficient budgetary resources for the implementation of the law;
6.6.7 lmonitoring the application of laws on violence against women passed by parliament;
6.7 submit a progress report on the implementation of these priority measures outlined by the Assembly and activities carried out in the context of the campaign by April 2008;
6.8 identify the financial means allocated to combat domestic violence against women over the last few years;
6.9 present, before the end of 2007, the budgetary objectives and appropriations for 2008 to fight domestic violence against women, taking into account a minimum objective of €1 on average per inhabitant in all member states.
7. The Assembly decides to continue the work carried out jointly with regional (the European Parliament and the Nordic Council) and international (the Inter-Parliamentary Union) parliamentary assemblies.
8. In particular, it invites the European Parliament to co-organise a joint conference in 2008 on combating domestic violence against women in Europe.
9. The Assembly agrees to hold a parliamentary conference (the third meeting of the contact parliamentarians) in spring 2008 to assess the implementation of measures to combat violence against women by the Parliamentary Assembly and the national parliaments, and prepare its contribution to the closing conference of the campaign, scheduled for June 2008.
10. The Assembly considers that it will be necessary to review the campaign once it is over and to evaluate the success of the work carried out. It intends to keep abreast of the issue so that it can give its backing to new proposals, where appropriate.