Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating VAW and DV adopted

Council of Europe flagVia a Council of Europe press release:

At their 1111th meeting on 6 April 2011, the Ministers’ Deputies adopted the Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence and agreed to open it for signature by member states at the ministerial session on 11 May in Istanbul.

This new landmark treaty of the Council of Europe opens the path for creating a legal framework at pan-European level to protect women against all forms of violence, and prevent, prosecute and eliminate violence against women and domestic violence., The Convention also establishes a specific monitoring mechanism in order to ensure effective implementation of its provisions by the Parties.

Richard Köhler, co-chair of Transgender Europe, points out that this convention is of particular significance to TS/TG people as it includes reference to gender identity:

The convention states in Art. 3:

  • 3. The implementation of the provisions of this Convention by the Parties, in particular measures to protect the rights of victims, shall be secured without discrimination on any ground such as sex, gender, race, colour, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, association with a national minority, property, birth, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, state of health, disability, marital status, migrant or refugee status, or other status.

In [Article 4, clause 53 of] the explanatory report, the following reasoning and definition is given:

Certain groups of individuals may also experience discrimination on the basis of their gender identity, which in simple terms means that the gender they identify with is not in conformity with the sex assigned to them at birth. This includes categories of individuals such as transgender or transsexual persons, cross-dressers, transvestites and other groups of persons that do not correspond to what society has established as belonging to “male” or “female” categories.


The Convention will come into force when at least 10 states have signed the convention.

Watch for your governments whether it will take the pen on May 11 in Istanbul or whether some special reminder and pressure from their concerned constituency is needed. [Via email]