Sinn Féin MEP Lynn Boylan has today repeated her call for the Irish government to finally sign and ratify the Istanbul Convention on combatting violence against women.
"The Istanbul Convention is a European treaty which would see important definitions and criminalisation of forced marriage, female genital mutilation and physical and sexual violence and would also set parameters to provide much-needed shelters, helplines and medical care for victims of rape and other forms of violence against women.
"I therefore find that, at a time when underfunded frontline services for women affected by domestic violence are struggling to cope with the high amount of cases and shockingly up to 38000 women are calling helplines every year in the south, the Irish government is unjustifiably dragging its feet on this issue. It must do more to demonstrate serious political will to address violence against women.
"Given that in recent weeks the UN roundly criticised Ireland for failing to adequately address past institutional abuses against women and children in institutions such as the Magdalene Laundries and the 'Mother and Baby' homes, it is clear that the Irish government must do more to redress victims of the past and protect victims of violence in the future.
"Irish women and victims of violence perpetrated against them deserve more than continued half-hearted excuses. The Irish government must immediately sign and ratify this convention to combat violence against women. "