France/Council of Europe/violence against women
Paris, April 8, 2011
France welcomes the adoption by the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe yesterday, following two years of intense negotiations, of a Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence.
The Council of Europe, a pan-European organization comprising 47 member States, is the second regional organization, after the Organization of American States, to create an instrument of international law to combat violence inflicted on women.
Since 2009 and throughout the negotiation, France has supported an ambitious text on the subject, and we are satisfied with the result.
French legislation has recently been strengthened and is therefore at a a very advanced stage compared to that of most other Council of Europe member countries. The Convention will enable us to progress still further towards effective implementation.
Through this text, the member States commit themselves to respecting minimum standards on prevention, the protection of victims and the prosecution of perpetrators, and to criminalizing sexual violence, including rape; physical and psychological violence; harassment; forced marriage; and female genital mutilation. This Convention is also the first legally binding international text to include provisions to combat the phenomenon of so-called honour crimes.
The Convention envisages that States will create innovative mechanisms, particularly a raft of protective measures including evicting violent spouses, lifting professional secrecy under certain conditions in the interest of the victims, establishing free 24-hour telephone hotlines and taking gender into account in the examination of asylum requests./.