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‘Two more ratifications raise hopes that the Istanbul Convention may enter into force in 2013’

Strasbourg, 05.02.2013 – “I welcome the ratification of the Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence by Albania on 4 February and Portugal on 5 February 2013. I sincerely hope they will be followed by more states in the coming months,” declared José Mendes Bota (Portugal, EPP/CD), PACE general rapporteur on violence against women. “After Turkey and Albania, Portugal is the first member State of the European Union to ratify the Istanbul Convention, and that is also an important sign,” he added.

“The Convention is the most advanced international instrument dealing with gender-based violence, recognising violence against women as a human rights violation and a form of discrimination,” explained Mr Mendes Bota.

“National legislations may not be perfectly in line with the Convention, but this should not be used as an excuse to postpone ratification as there will always be room for improvement. I therefore call on all member States of the Council of Europe to keep up this momentum and speed up the ratification process. The Convention will enter into force following its 10th ratification, and all together we have to make it possible in 2013,” concluded Mr Mendes Bota.