Human rights groups welcome Istanbul Convention signature

Deirdre Duffy, deputy director of the ICCL

Ireland’s signature of a Council of Europe convention against domestic violence and violence against women has been welcomed by human rights groups.

Peter Gunning, permanent representative of Ireland to the Council of Europe, yesterday signed the Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence, also known as the Istanbul Convention.

The Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission (IHREC) said the move was a first step towards full ratification of the Convention and urged the Irish government to implement the necessary reforms and legislation to make that possible soon.

The Commission also voiced support for the immediate introduction of a co-ordinated national action helpline service for responding to domestic and sexual violence.

The Irish Council for Civil Liberties (ICCL) said it welcomed the government’s commitment to the Convention.

Deirdre Duffy, deputy director of the ICCL, urged the government to “publish a concise timeframe for ratification and specific plans for the implementation of the measures contained in the Convention”.

Ms Duffy added: “We know that violence against women in Ireland is a serious issue and the step taken by the Government, if followed through, will have tangible impacts for women.”

The rights watchdog also called on ministers to fast track Ireland’s ratification of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and the Optional Protocol to the UN Convention against Torture.

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