On 8 June, the United Kingdom became the 20th member state to sign the Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence.
The treaty, opened for signature in May 2011, is the first legally binding convention which establishes the principle that violence against women and domestic violence constitutes a violation of human rights and that it should not be regarded as a private matter. It provides governments with the measures to combat violence through a combination of prevention, protection, prosecution and integrated policies.
On his return from a visit to Austria, Nils Muižnieks, the newly-elected Commissioner for Human Rights, confirmed that Austria would also sign the treaty. Turkey remains the only member state to have ratified the women’s safety convention.