The Republic of Moldova signed at Strasbourg the Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence, also known as “the Istanbul Convention”. The International Center “La Strada” greets the step made by the authorities, but hopes that the document will soon be also ratified.
Once ratified, the Istanbul Convention will oblige the Republic of Moldova authorities to provide shelter to victims of domestic violence. Also, the state will engage in launching a nonstop hotline, in order to provide psychologic, and legal assistance to victims, and other aspects, which the civil society repeatedly brought into public discussion.
“Symbolically, signing the Convention means that the state recognizes the problem of violence against women, of domestic violence and wants to be in line with the international standards in the field. Therefore, for us, as representatives of the civil society, the ratification is more important, because this document, once ratified, will become a monitoring mechanism. After the ratification of the Convention, the authorities will commit to ensure services for the protection of victims and their children, and to create a compensation mechanism”, says Daniela Misail-Nichitin, Director of Women’s Program within the International Center “La Strada”.
According to state authorities, the objective of the Convention is zero tolerance to domestic violence. In time, the treaty aims at changing also the mentality of citizens, in order to develop a society with no violence.
“After ratification, monitoring of the implementation of Convention provisions is periodically made by a group of independent experts. A report in this regard is published once in four years. There is very much work to be done for ensuring a better protection of victims and for developing services for them, but also for the aggressors. At the first stage, it is necessary to carry out actions of primary, secondary and tertiary prevention of domestic violence. Also, it is absolutely necessary to develop a funding and support mechanism for service providers”, mentioned Daniela Misail-Nichitin.
The Istanbul Convention is the highest-level document in the European Union related to preventing, investigating and punishing acts of violence against women and domestic violence. The Republic of Moldova is the 44th state to sign the Convention.