Why this story matters:
Secretary General of the Council of Europe Thorbørn Jagland welcomed the ratification of the Convention by the Greek parliament by saying: "Greece is now fully part of our common efforts to combat domestic violence. This is good for Greece and good for Europe."
The Istanbul Convention condemns all forms of violence against women and domestic violence. It also recognizes that the implementation of de jure and de facto equality between women and men is a key element in preventing violence against women. As, Stelios Perrakis explained, "the Istanbul Convention is a unique legal act to protect women from various forms of violence, sexual exploitation, etc., operating in the Council of Europe's justice, as it expresses the concentrated international experience of tackling violence against women at the regulatory level and the best practices that have gradually emerged through national initiatives".
The Convention was adopted by the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe on April 7, 2011 and was signed in Istanbul on May 11, 2011. It entered into force in August 2014, was passed by the European Parliament on June 13, 2017 and was finally ratified by the Greek Parliament on March 29, 2018.
Greek laws that were not in line with the provisions of the Conventions were also amended to strengthen protections for women.
Details from the story:
- The Convention includes strengthening of the criminal legislation to tackle crimes committed against women (genital mutilation, stalking, "honor crimes" etc).
- The highly anachronistic provision preventing prosecution if a marriage was entered into between a victim and a person culpable of seduction is abolished.
- The relevant law on the Greek Compensation Authority has been amended in a way that facilitates victims’ access to the compensation provided by the law.
- The relevant law on arms is amended in order to not grant permits to those who are prosecuted or convicted for domestic violence offenses.
- The implementation of the convention will be monitored by GREVIO (Group of Experts on Action against Violence against Women and Domestic Violence).
- Greece signed the Convention in 2011, but did not ratify it until now.