Prague, Jan 12 (CTK) – The Czech government plans to sign the EU Istanbul convention on preventing and combatting violence against women and domestic violence this year, Human Rights Minister Jiri Dienstbier told leaders of women’s rights NGOs who handed him a petition in support of the convention yesterday.
The petition signed by 9,000 people calls on the government to quickly adopt the Istanbul convention.
The Czech Republic is among the last three EU members, together with Latvia and Bulgaria, not to have signed the convention yet.
Dienstbier “has confirmed that the government will add its signature by mid-2016,” the petition organiser, Gabriela Bartova, from the Czech branch of Amnesty International, told CTK.
After the convention is signed, the procedure of its ratification by Czech parliament will start. Its completion is expected in 2018.
By then, the government wants to modify all Czech related laws, Dienstbier (Social Democrats, CSSD) said.
According to a poll released by the EU Human Rights Agency, 32 percent of Czech women have experienced physical or sexual violence in their lives.
The convention binds the signatory countries to prevent, prosecute and eliminate violence, contribute to gender equality, prepare a plan of measures to protect the victims and support the institutions and organisations that fight against violence.
The convention fights against physical and psychological maltreatment, stalking, rape, sexual harassment, female circumcising and forced-upon marriages, abortion and sterilisation.
It took effect in 2014 and has been ratified by 19 countries so far.