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"Parliaments united in combating domestic violence against women": mid-term assessment of the Campaign

Recommendation 1817 (2007)

Parliamentary Assembly
Assembly debate on 5 October 2007 (36th Sitting) (see Doc. 11372, 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. Since the adoption of the Action Plan of the 3rd Summit of Heads of State and Government of the Council of Europe (Warsaw, 16 and 17 May 2005) and of Resolution 1512 (2006), the Parliamentary Assembly has been fully committed to the implementation of the parliamentary dimension of the Council of Europe campaign to combat violence against women, including domestic violence.
2. For this purpose, it has enlisted help from the national parliaments of the Council of Europe member states, the parliaments with observer status with the Assembly, and other regional (the European Parliament and the Nordic Council) and international (the Inter-Parliamentary Union) parliamentary assemblies. It has also set up a network of contact parliamentarians, with 44 members to date.
3. The Assembly considers it crucial to promote synergies among the three strands of the Council of Europe campaign (i.e. the parliamentary, governmental, and local and regional strands) for it to have any real impact in Europe. It welcomes the recent initiatives which have made it possible to intensify co-operation between the contact parliamentarians and the representatives appointed by governments to oversee the implementation of the campaign.
4. The Assembly would like to thank the members of the Council of Europe Task Force for their contribution to the campaign. It encourages them to continue their efforts and to include an assessment of the parliamentary dimension of the campaign to be prepared by the Parliamentary Assembly in their final activity report.
5. Referring to Resolution 1582 (2007) entitled “Parliaments united in combating domestic violence against women”: mid-term assessment of the campaign, the Assembly points out that national parliaments are invited to continue carrying out and supervising the implementation of legislative reform as well as organising awareness-raising activities to implement the following seven priority measures to combat violence against women, including domestic violence:
5.1 making domestic violence against women, including marital rape, a criminal offence;
5.2 regarding violence perpetrated between (former) partners as an aggravating circumstance;
5.3 setting up sufficient numbers of safe emergency shelters;
5.4 making provisions to remove violent spouses or partners and take out protection orders against perpetrators;
5.5 guaranteeing effective access to the courts and to protection measures for victims;
5.6 allocating sufficient budgetary resources for the implementation of the law;
5.7 monitoring the application of laws on combating violence against women passed by parliament.
6. While the decision to adopt these seven measures lies essentially with legislative bodies, the Assembly believes that the co-operation and political will of national, regional and local government authorities and the assistance of non-governmental organisations will be needed for their implementation.
7. The Assembly calls on the Committee of Ministers to:
7.1 continue to give its financial and political backing to campaign activities, including those carried out by non-governmental organisations;
7.2 alert the member states’ governments to the role that they can play in combating violence against women, including domestic violence, by working in close co-operation with national parliaments, local and regional authorities, professionals involved in work to combat this violence (members of the judiciary, the police, the medical profession, education and social services, etc.) and non-governmental organisations;
7.3 encourage member states to take part in the Council of Europe campaign’s pan-European and cross-sectoral activities to combat violence against women;
7.4 incorporate the theme of combating violence against women into the Council of Europe’s assistance and co-operation programmes;
7.5 consider, on the basis of the assessment to be prepared by the Council of Europe Task Force, what resources are needed to step up activities to combat violence against women in the Council of Europe member states;
7.6 continue to incorporate fully the parliamentary dimension into the closing conference of the campaign, taking into account the success of the launch conference in Madrid on 27 November 2006.