Ukraine: “Historic victory for women’s rights” as Istanbul Convention ratified

Responding to the vote in Ukraine’s parliament to ratify the landmark international treaty on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence, Agnès Callamard, Amnesty International’s Secretary General, said:

“This a historic victory for women’s rights in Ukraine, and a contribution to the change in culture, attitudes and behaviours towards gender-based violence. It will ultimately affect the lives of every woman in the country. Today’s vote is a testament to years of campaigning by survivors who have helped to ensure that other women do not have to go through what they endured.

“Ratification of the Istanbul Convention is a decisive step in the fight against gender-based violence. It heralds a change in legislation and institutional procedures that will improve safety and justice for the sufferers and fair prosecution for the perpetrators.

“This decision could not be more timely, amid disturbing reports and allegations of sexual violence against Ukrainian women in Russian-occupied territories. Its prompt implementation should equip the Ukrainian authorities to deal with these atrocities, and serve to reassure the survivors and give them confidence to seek justice.”


The Istanbul Convention is the most far-reaching international treaty specifically designed to tackle violence against women and domestic violence. It sets out minimum standards for governments in Europe on prevention, protection, and prosecution of violence against women and domestic violence.