Women’s Aid responds: Istanbul Convention
The home secretary has announced the UK is compliant with the Istanbul Convention and is in a position to seek parliament’s approval for ratification – though with some reservations.
Farah Nazeer, chief executive of Women’s Aid said:
“Women’s Aid welcomes the home secretary’s announcement that the UK is now in a position to ratify the Istanbul Convention. Alongside IC Change and other VAWG sector organisations, we have been consistently calling on the government for many years to take this important step.
“The ratification of the Istanbul Convention will set out the vital steps the UK needs to take to prevent violence, protect women experiencing violence, and prosecute perpetrators – while protecting specialist domestic abuse services, such as those run by Women’s Aid members all over the country.
“While this move towards ratification demonstrates the government’s commitment to ensuring women and children are safe, Women’s Aid continues to be concerned that the UK does not provide sufficient support for migrant victims. The Istanbul Convention has specific provisions for refugee and migrant women and girls, and requires the equal protection of all survivors regardless of their immigration status. The government did not give migrant survivors access to full and equal support in the Domestic Abuse Act, and the Nationality and Borders Act creates further difficulties for women and girls subject to abuse. We call on the government to address this as a matter of urgency rather than exacerbating this issue by submitting a reservation to the provision on migrant victims within the Convention.
“Women’s Aid will continue campaigning for protection for all women and looks forward to supporting decision-makers to protect women and girls.”