Anniversary of the Istanbul Convention

Anniversary of the Istanbul Convention

Today marks the anniversary of opening for signature of the Istanbul Convention.

The Istanbul Convention is an international treaty to help tackle violence against women and girls. It is very important for women and girls with disabilities as, on average, they are 2 to 5 times more likely to face violence than other women and girls.

The Convention recognises the forms of violence faced by women and girls with disabilities (such as forced sterilisation for example) and gives the tools to combat violence and support victims with disabilities. You can find more information on the Convention and how to use it on our dedicated webpage.

The Convention after the signature

  • 36 European countries have ratified the Convention.
  • 12 European countries and the European Union have not ratified the Convention.
  • Turkey has withdrawn from the Convention – this means it has decided to not be a State Party anymore.
  • Organisations of women and girls with disabilities have reported to the Group of Experts in charge of monitoring of the Convention on violence against women and girls with disabilities in their country.

Report from Belgian Disability Forum (in French)

Report from Italian Disability Forum

Report from women’s coalition from Finland, including women with disabilities

5 reasons why the EU should ratify the Istanbul Convention

EDF calls on the European Union (EU) and its countries to protect all women and girls with disabilities from violence and abuse, including forced sterilization by ratifying the Istanbul Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence.

  1. Violence against women threatens the security of half of the population in the EU, affecting over 250 million women and girls, having life-long implications for their physical and mental health.
  2. Women with disabilities are 2 to 5 times more likely to be victims of violence than women without disabilities and are subjected to forced sterilisation and abortions against their will. Those with psychosocial disabilities are at higher risk, especially when they are segregated in institutions.
  3. Accessing justice and support and protection services is often impossible due to lack of access, legal and other types of barriers. For example, women and girls with disabilities may live in institutions, deprived of their legal capacity, or the available services may not be accessible to them.
  4. Implementation of the Istanbul Convention will benefit women’s lives in Europe, including women and girls with disabilities and will demonstrate the EU’s strong commitment to end violence against all women and girls who deserve to live a life free from all forms of violence.
  5. Ratification will contribute to the implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD), to which the EU and all EU countries are parties to, as well as the Convention on the Elimination of All forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), which all EU States have ratified.