Prague, 21st June, 2023
We welcome today's decision of the Government of the Czech Republic on the approval of the Istanbul Convention, by which it will forwarded to the parliament for discussion as part of the ratification process. The government did so in line with its policy statement, in which it pledged to improve protection for victims of sexual and domestic violence.
"We are one of the remaining 6 EU countries, along with Bulgaria and Hungary, for example, which are delaying the adoption of the Convention against Violence. By adopting it, we will confirm our place among countries that actively protect human rights," said Hana Stelzerová, director of the Czech Women's Lobby and spokesperson for the Voice against Violence coalition.
"In a number of European countries, they have had the Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence for more than 10 years. Experience shows that the Convention improves the system of assistance to victims. It is important that we subscribe to European values and that the Czech state clearly expresses that it is not indifferent to the fate of the victims," said Marta Smolíková, chairwoman of the Czech Women's Lobby and vice-chairwoman of the Government Council for Gender Equality.
The Voice against Violence coalition, led by the Czech Women's Lobby, has been promoting the ratification of the Istanbul Convention in the Czech Republic for a long time. Four weeks ago, for example, CWL initiated a gathering of more than 200 supporters of the Istanbul Convention in Prague. A total of 20 organizations and initiatives that work with victims of violence or educate in this area joined the organization of the happening. Many well-known personalities joined in support for the Istanbul Convention, such as former ombudsman and spokeswoman of Charter 77 Anna Šabatová, preacher of the Evangelical Church of the Czech Brethren Mikuláš Vymětal, actress and singer Bára Kodetová Šporclová and singer Jana Fabiánová.
The Convention against Violence is an international treaty that seeks to end the serious problem of human rights violations - violence against women and domestic violence. Its aim is to prevent violence and to provide victims and their children with adequate help, protection and support so that they can escape from violence. It is built on 4 pillars: prevention of violence, available help for victims, fair prosecution of perpetrators/drugs and the interconnectedness of all actors working with victims of violence. The convention is unique in that it addresses violence systematically and comprehensively and calls for the cooperation of the whole society.