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Poland to sign European convention combating violence against women

PR dla Zagranicy
Peter Gentle 04.12.2012 16:48
After opposition from the Church, the Polish government has decided to sign the Council of Europe's Convention on Preventing and Combating Violence Against Women.

photo - wikicommons

Prime Minister Donald Tusk said that the government had taken the decision at Tuesday's Council of Ministers meeting.

Many countries have signed up to the convention but only Turkey has yet to ratified it.

The convention requires member states to provide an official hotline operating 24 hours a day for female victims of violence, clear web sites on where to get help, as well as creating a sufficient number of shelters and support centres.

Police officers must be trained in interviewing techniques so as to protect against secondary victimization, the state must monitoring data collection of gender crimes, and conduct information campaigns to counter violence against women.


Earlier this year, however, the Polish Episcopal Conference noted that the Council of Europe's convention is the first such document to offer an official definition of “gender” as being socially constructed.

It was “with great concern the announcement of the Prime Minister that the Polish government will sign without reservation the proposed Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence,” Polish bishops said in a statement.

“The convention redefines gender as a social construct,” the bishops added, “rather than as a distinction grounded in biology, and suggests violence towards women is systemic with roots in religion and culture.”

The convention was adopted by the Council of Europe Committee of Ministers on 7 April 2011 and opened for signature on 11 May 2011 on the occasion of the 121st Session of the Committee of Ministers in Istanbul.

The convention characterizes violence against women as a violation of human rights and a form of discrimination, and nations should exercise due diligence when preventing violence, protecting victims and prosecuting perpetrators in domestic legislation. (pg)

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