Strasbourg, 14 March 2012 -- Turkey today ratified the Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence, following a decision taken by the Turkish parliament in November 2011. Seventeen other member states have also signed the Convention since its opening for signature last May in Istanbul.
The Council of Europe has called on European governments to follow Turkey's lead so as to permit the treaty's rapid entry into force.
The Convention recognises that violence against women constitutes a serious violation of human rights and a form of discrimination. It represents a major step forward in combating such violence through measures aimed at preventing it, protecting victims and reinforcing the criminal penalties that can be imposed on perpetrators under national legal systems. In this connection it criminalises acts such as female genital mutilation, forced marriage, harassment, psychological violence, forced abortion and forced sterilisation.
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