Representatives from member states governments, parliaments and local authorities, judiciary and law enforcement, regional and international organisations, notably the Council of the Baltic Sea States (CBSS), the Nordic Council, UN Women, EU and the Fundamental Rights Agency (FRA), meet on 17 and 18 January in Helsinki, for the Regional Conference on the Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence.
Every day in Europe, women fall victim of violence. They are stalked, harassed, raped, mutilated, forced by their family to enter into a marriage, sterilised against their will or psychologically and physically abused in the “safety” of their own homes. The examples of violence against women are endless, its victims countless. The Council of Europe Convention, which opened for signature on 11 May 2011, is the first legally-binding instrument in Europe on this topic and in terms of scope. It is the most far-reaching international treaty in this field.
The Helsinki Conference places particular emphasis on the added value of the Convention, the link between achieving gender equality and combating violence against women, as well as recognising violence against women as a human rights violation. (more…)