President Zelenskyy introduced a bill to the Verkhovna Rada on the ratification of the Istanbul Convention

Julia Sheredeha

Today, President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy submitted to the Verkhovna Rada a bill on ratification of The Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence.

The bill appeared on the website of the Verkhovna Rada.

The Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence is known as the Istanbul Convention was open for signature on 11 May 2011 in Istanbul.

Countries that have acceded to the convention must criminalize psychological violence, harassment, physical and sexual violence, forced marriage, forced abortion and sterilization.

  • On January 27 this year, a petition calling on President Volodymyr Zelenskyy to introduce a bill ratifying the Istanbul Convention against Violence against Women and Domestic Violence received the required 25,000 signatures.
  • The Convention addresses two types of violence: violence against women and domestic violence. The first includes any physical, psychological, economic or sexual violence, persecution or harassment at work. Domestic violence is anything that happens between partners or members of the same family without the consent of one of them (for example, coercion to sex, marriage, abortion, circumcision, sterilization). Offenders will be held criminally liable for any form of violence. Punishment will be harsher if the victims are relatives or partners, or if a child has witnessed violence.
  • The document was signed by 46 countries and the European Union. However, 11 of them, including Ukraine, have not yet ratified the agreement. The Istanbul Convention was signed by Ukraine in 2011 but has not yet been ratified due to protests by churches and conservative politicians against the term "gender" used in it.
  • In March 2021, Turkey withdrew its signature and ratification of the Istanbul Convention, stating that it was used to "normalize homosexuality."