The Istanbul Convention

It's estimated that worldwide, at least 1 in 3 women has experienced either physical or sexual violence. In the EU, over 1 in 5 women has experienced physical and/or sexual violence from a current or previous partner and 1 in 10 women have experienced sexual violence by the age of 15

The Istanbul Convention, a human rights treaty aimed at preventing and combatting violence against women, came into force in 2014 and has since been ratified by 34 countries. The convention is the first legally-binding document to comprehensively tackle this violence, which includes psychological violence, stalking, physical violence, sexual violence and sexual harassment. 

Ratifying countries must agree to implement the 4 pillars of the convention:

  • Prevention
  • Protection
  • Prosecution
  • Co-ordinated policies

Stopping the cycle of violence

Article 16 of the Istanbul Convention requires countries to set up and support perpetrator programmes (as part of the prevention methods) aimed at breaking the cycle of violence. As well as this, Article 16 requires that these prevention programmes ensure the safety of the victims and take a multi-agency approach. You can read more on the Council of Europe website here

Monitoring the Istanbul Convention

Once countries have ratified the Istanbul Convention, their progress in implementing the policies is evaluated by an independent monitoring body: the GREVIO committee. You can read more about GREVIO here

Last changed: 13.04.2023