WAVE celebrates the Istanbul Convention and reaffirms its commitment to advance women human’s rights

On 1 August 2014, the Council of Europe Convention on Preventing and Combating Violence against Women and Domestic Violence, also known as the Istanbul Convention, came into force. As the WAVE Country Report 2021 reiterates, the Istanbul Convention remains the first legally binding and the most comprehensive legal framework to combat violence against women, focusing on preventing violence, protecting victims, prosecuting the accused offenders, and promoting coordinated policies1.

In the past years, we have unfortunately witnessed the shrinking of the civil space to demand and defend women’s human rights. Moreover, women’s rights and gender equality are coming under increasing attack, and there are misleading claims being made concerning the Istanbul Convention. Therefore, the need to educate the public and decision-makers on all forms of violence included in the scope of the Istanbul Convention is growing due to the propagation of myths and misconceptions. Human rights for women should be protected and international agreements upheld at all times to effectively tackle the human rights violations that violence against women and domestic violence are.

In order to mitigate this political and social pushback against women’s human rights and to ensure that women’s specialist services can continue to provide life-saving support to women and their children affected by violence, as established in Articles 22-26 of the Convention, we call on you to join us in advocating for the adequate implementation of the standards of the Istanbul Convention. Furthermore, to support civil society organisations (CSOs) in promoting the principles, objectives, and provisions of the Convention.

To this end, the WAVE Network, together with the Council of Europe’s Gender Equality Division and UN Women, has developed a methodology with pertinent advocacy resources and tools that will assist CSOs in running national communication and advocacy campaigns on the Istanbul Convention. The tool focuses on positive narratives about the Istanbul Convention developed by CSOs using this methodology. These narratives will help in debunking myths and false information about the Convention. Ratifying the Istanbul Convention and improving the standard of its implementation are both possible goals of the campaigns to be developed with this methodology.  

The full package can be downloaded here:

  1. Methodology to run awareness-raising campaigns
  2. Checklist for CSOs to run awareness-raising campaigns
  3. Factsheet “Why do we need the Istanbul Convention? Common Myths and Misconceptions”
  4. Brochure “Why do we need the Istanbul Convention? What Changes it can bring and what measures have been adopted to comply with it”
  5. Poster “Istanbul Convention requirement of putting the needs and rights of victims at the heart of  services. What does this mean for victims?”
  6. Infographic  “Journey of a domestic violence survivor to access support services WITH the support of the Istanbul Convention and WITHOUT the support of the Istanbul Convention”
  7. Knowledge pack (other visibility materials, documents, and examples)

Join us in spreading awareness of and advocating for the Istanbul Convention to help tackle and prevent violence against women.


1 WAVE Country Report 2021, p.7

WOMEN AGAINST VIOLENCE EUROPE