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Ireland must ratify Istanbul Convention as a matter of urgency - Lynn Boylan MEP

15 October, 2014 - by Senator Lynn Boylan

Sinn Féin MEP for Dublin, Lynn Boylan, met with the Women's Eco-Nomic and Social Think Tank (WESTT) in Brussels today.

WESTT is a leading Women's Think Tank with global dimensions focusing on the economic, environmental and social development of women. At a political level it also lobbies to raise awareness on key issues but never for commercial gain.

Speaking after this morning's meeting, Lynn Boylan said:

"I had a very informative discussion with WESTT this morning on a range of topics including the rights of women and girls within the EU but also globally.

"One topic for discussion was the Council of Europe's Istanbul Convention and how Ireland has yet to sign and ratify it. This was a particularly timely discussion as only last night the Istanbul Convention was awarded the UN 'Vision Award' for the most promising policy approach.

"The Istanbul Convention was adopted in 2011 and only recently came into force on 1st August 2014. It is already an important new framework for all European governments to prevent and combat violence against women and girls. The UN Vision Award noted that the Istanbul Convention is currently the most comprehensive international legally binding instrument on violence against women and girls, as well as domestic violence.

"And yet Ireland has yet to sign or ratify the Istanbul Convention. While the Minister for Justice and Equality has stated that Ireland will move quickly to signing the Convention, legislation is required to ratify the Convention. 

"I am now calling on Minister Frances Fitzgerald to prioritise the legislation required to ratify the Istanbul Convention. It is a continuing and embarrassing failure on the part of the Irish government not to have ratified this Convention. It is an invaluable tool with which to combat violence against women and girls. It must be ratified as a matter of urgency."  

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