Finland to lead the Committee of the Parties to the Istanbul Convention

On 31 January, Finland’s Permanent Representative to the Council of Europe, Ambassador Nina Nordström, was elected as Chair of the Committee of the Parties to the Council of Europe Convention on Preventing and Combating Violence against Women and Domestic Violence (Istanbul Convention). The Permanent Representatives of Ireland and Albania were elected as Vice-Chairs.

The Istanbul Convention is the first instrument in Europe to set legally binding standards to prevent gender-based violence. Its aim is to prevent and eliminate violence against women, protect victims of violence, and bring the perpetrators of violence to justice. Equality and the rights of women and girls are an important part of Finland's foreign and security policy. The Government is also strongly committed to combating violence against women at national level.

A survey made by the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) reveals that one in three women has experienced physical or sexual violence since the age of 15. In Europe, this means 62 million women.

The implementation of the Istanbul Convention was recently assessed in Finland for the very first time. In its report in September 2019, GREVIO, which is the Council of Europe’s Group of Experts on Action against Violence against Women and Domestic Violence, highlighted the challenges related to the training and competence of professionals and the importance of adequate funding for the implementation of the Istanbul Convention.

The Committee of the Parties, which is composed of representatives of the Parties to the Convention, monitors the implementation of the Convention together with GREVIO. The 8th meeting of the Committee of the Parties was held in Strasbourg on 30 and 31 January 2020.

Inquiries: Satu Sistonen, Legal Counsellor, tel. +358 295 351 789.

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