A High-level Conference on “Monitoring the implementation of the Istanbul Convention: new Synergies” took place on 20 October 2015 in Sarajevo, in the context of the Chairmanship of Bosnia and Herzegovina of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe. The conference was opened by Ms Semiha Borovac, Minister of Human Rights and Refugees of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
The monitoring of the implementation of the Istanbul Convention has become the subject of everyone’s attention since the entry into force of this ground-breaking international legal instrument about a year ago, on 1 August 2014. The effective implementation of the Istanbul Convention will largely depend on the willingness and capacity of governments to co-ordinate the action of their various agencies involved in ending violence against women and domestic violence, as well as on good co-operation between governments and parliaments.
The objective of the Conference was to engage in a reflection process on new synergies at different levels: (i) at government level, with newly designated or established official co-ordinating bodies; (ii) at parliamentary level, with the contribution of parliamentarians in the monitoring of the implementation of the Istanbul Convention; and (iii) at the level of civil society and national human rights institutions.
The Conference provided a platform for exchanging experiences and know-how and for networking among participants, including representatives of States Parties to the Convention and countries considering signature, ratification or accession.
The event was of particular importance for Bosnia and Herzegovina, as well as for all member States of the Council of Europe, both for those that have already ratified the Istanbul Convention and those that are in the process of ratifying it.
The participants had the opportunity to hear and exchange experiences from Council of Europe member States on the current implementation and monitoring of the implementation of the Convention. It can be concluded that since the entry into force, although only a short period of time has passed, significant progress has been made.
Presentations and discussions pointed to the special importance of co-ordinated action, as the Convention calls on all relevant institutions of all relevant actors, services, international and non-governmental organisations to establish co-ordinated co-operation.
Commitment and assigning specific roles of parliamentary assemblies in different segments of the implementation and monitoring of the Convention was also mentioned. It is important that parliamentarians are involved in formal multidisciplinary co-ordinating bodies in member States for the co-ordination, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of policies related to preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence. Integrated gender-sensitive policies and data collection on violence are the basis for quality implementation and reporting on the Convention.
As before, participants had the opportunity to see the extremely important role of the civil society, which has a long tradition of providing assistance to victims of violence against women in the family, through various forms of direct support and work with victims.
Also, all participants recognised violence prevention as a key element of an efficient approach to policy making.
The Chairmanship of Bosnia and Herzegovina of the Committee of Ministers wishes to thank all the participants, organisers and co-organisers for their valuable contribution to results of the Conference.
Source: Council of Europe
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