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Violence against women in Europe

Recommendation 2030 (2013)

Parliamentary Assembly
Text adopted by the Standing Committee, acting on behalf of the Assembly, on 22 November 2013 (see Doc. 13349, report of the Committee on Equality and Non-Discrimination, rapporteur: Mr Mendes Bota).
1. Recalling its Resolution 1963 (2013) on violence against women in Europe, the Parliamentary Assembly reiterates that violence against women is a major human rights violation and an offence to human dignity which does not spare any Council of Europe member State.
2. The positive response given by the majority of Council of Europe member States to the United Nations COMMIT initiative to end violence against women, and their active involvement in the 57th session of the Commission on the Status of Women, are signs of their political resolve to tackle this scourge.
3. The Council of Europe should strive to assist its member States in this endeavour, with special emphasis on data collection, reinforcement of the legal and policy framework and co-operation.
4. The Council of Europe has set itself up as a pioneer in standard setting in this area through its Convention on Preventing and Combating Violence against Women and Domestic Violence (CETS No. 210, “Istanbul Convention”). The Assembly looks forward to the prompt entry into force of this convention, which will have a tangible impact on the lives of millions of people.
5. The Assembly welcomes the role for national parliaments and the Assembly itself in monitoring the implementation of the convention, as set out in its Article 70, as an increased safeguard for the independence of the process.
6. In the light of the above, the Assembly recommends that the Committee of Ministers:
6.1 explore the feasibility for the Council of Europe to play a role in the area of data collection by:
6.1.1 drawing up common guidelines on data collection, to be recommended to all member States, in order to facilitate harmonisation and comparability;
6.1.2 co-operating with the European Union, in particular its Fundamental Rights Agency, with a view to conducting a survey on violence against women for all the Council of Europe member States;
6.2 contribute to strengthening national legal and policy frameworks in the area of violence against women, in particular by:
6.2.1 providing legal advice and expertise on draft legislation;
6.2.2 supporting the organisation of training on the issue of violence against women for police officers, judges, prosecutors and other legal professionals;
6.2.3 reinforcing knowledge of the case law of the European Court of Human Rights in the area of violence against women and domestic violence;
6.2.4 stepping up project and co-operation work in the area of violence against women, for member and observer States of the Council of Europe and countries whose parliaments hold partner for democracy status with the Assembly.
7. As regards the Istanbul Convention, the Assembly recommends that the Committee of Ministers:
7.1 step up activities to further promote the signature and ratification of (or accession to) the Istanbul Convention, including by non-member States of the Council of Europe and by the European Union;
7.2 ensure that the Assembly is represented in the Group of Experts on Action against Violence against Women and Domestic Violence (GREVIO) as an observer and is invited to attend the meetings of the Committee of the Parties.