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Minister Flanagan announces ratification of the Istanbul Convention by Ireland on International Women’s Day

The Minister for Justice and Equality, Charlie Flanagan, has today announced Ireland’s ratification of the Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combatting violence against women and domestic violence (the Istanbul Convention). The Convention is a significant international legal instrument which requires criminalising or legally sanctioning different forms of violence against women, including domestic violence, sexual harassment and psychological violence.

Announcing the ratification following a special Government meeting held to mark International Women’s Day, Minister Flanagan said:

Protecting and supporting victims has been a key priority for this Government. Domestic and sexual violence can have devastating consequences for victims as well as society as a whole. Ratifying the Convention delivers on a Government commitment and sends an important message that Ireland does not tolerate such violence. That message is all the more appropriate given that today is International Women’s Day.

Formal ratification took place at a ceremony at the Council of Europe in Strasbourg this morning. Council of Europe Secretary General, Thorbjørn Jagland, welcomed the ratification, saying:

We welcome Ireland’s ratification as yet more proof of the success of our convention, which helps to prevent violence, helps victims, and ensures that perpetrators are brought to justice. All our member states need the Istanbul Convention to more effectively prosecute perpetrators and to provide support and protection to their victims and to implement measures that will help prevent the violence from occurring in the first place.

Ireland signed the Convention in November 2015. While much of Irish legislation and administrative practice already implemented many of the provisions prior to signing, a number of pieces of legislation and other actions needed to be carried out before formal ratification could take place. These outstanding actions were identified in an action plan in October 2015 and included in the Second National Strategy on Domestic, Sexual and Gender-based Violence, which was published in January 2016.

Read the full Press Release here