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Monday 08 June marks eight years since the UK Government signed the Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence Violence Against Women and Domestic Violence, known as the Istanbul Convention. However, the UK remains one of the few EU countries yet to ratify it and is therefore not legally bound by its provisions. The Convention has so far been ratified by thirty-three of the original signatories.

Patricia Gibson MP has called on the Prime Minister to take the necessary steps to ratify the Convention, including enshrining in law support for migrant women experiencing domestic abuse and steps to ensure overseas offenders have nowhere to hide from justice.

Former Scottish National Party (SNP) MP, Dr Eilidh Whiteford, brought forward the Preventing and Combating Violence Against Women and Domestic Violence (Ratification of Convention) Act 2017 which obligated the UK to ratify the Istanbul Convention.

Patricia said:

“Tomorrow marks eight years since the UK signed the Istanbul Convention. However, four parliaments and three Prime Ministers later the UK Government continues to stall on ratification. I urge urging the Prime Minister to stop failing women and girls and ratify the Convention without delay.

“It has been three years since my former colleague, Dr Eilidh Whiteford’s Bill was passed. So far it has been ignored by an uncaring Tory Government. It’s high the time the Prime Minister followed through by enshrining in law support for migrant domestic abuse victims and steps which ensure overseas offenders face justice.

“The rights of women within the Istanbul Convention are fundamental human rights and are there to prevent domestic violence, protect victims and prosecute accused offenders. Sadly, because the UK Tory Government has failed to ratify, it is not legally bound by these provisions and is letting down victims.”


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