On 1 August 2014, the Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence (Istanbul Convention) entered into force. Members of the Parliamentary Assembly, including via the Parliamentary Network Women Free from Violence, have played an essential role calling relentlessly for its ratification in their national parliaments. While its ratification by 27 Council of Europe member States should be acknowledged as an important achievement, no efforts should be spared to call for more ratifications and ensure the full implementation of the provisions of the Convention, which is recognised as an essential tool to prevent and combat this scourge.
This ground-breaking international treaty, with a victim-centred approach, required the setting up of the Group of experts on action against violence against women and domestic violence (GREVIO) to carry out the monitoring of its implementation. It also foresaw, for the first time, parliamentary involvement in monitoring at the national level and at the Parliamentary Assembly (article 70).
More than three years after its entry into force and following the publication of the first country monitoring reports by GREVIO, it is time for the Assembly to take stock of the main achievements and challenges in implementing the Istanbul Convention and to hold a debate on actions taken and additional measures needed.