Update: 10.08.2018

Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence (Istanbul Convention)

Official Text


On 7 April 2011 the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe adopted the Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence. It was presented for signature in Istanbul on 11 May 2011. The Istanbul Convention enters into force on 1 August 2014. Up to now, 17 states have ratified and 33 states have signed the Convention (as at 10 August 2018; the current number of signatures and ratifications can be found here).

Aim and contents of the Convention

The Convention aims at protecting the victims from violence and at ending the immunity of perpetrators. The extensive convention includes measures in the fields of prevention, support and care, as well as legal aid in processes subject to private and to penal law. Another chapter will be dedicated to the two subjects migration and asylum seeking.

Included are all forms of violence against women, including domestic violence by which women are affected above average (forced marriage, genital mutilation, stalking, physical and psychological violence, as well as sexual violence, etc.). The member states of the Convention are called upon to apply the Convention to all victims of domestic violence, meaning also men and children (cf. Art. 2). Reservations are only applicable in specified cases and under restricted conditions (Art. 78 et seq.).

An international, independent «Group of experts on action against violence against women and domestic violence» (abbreviation: GREVIO) is to be appointed to control on the implementation of the Convention.

Further information

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