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The Istanbul Convention on domestic violence comes into force

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The Istanbul Convention comes into force from todayThe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence (Istanbul Convention) comes into force as from today.

Malta, together with 13 other countries, has ratified the Convention which binds the government to implement measures, including the adoption of legislation and policies, so as to classify all forms of violence against women as a violation of human rights.

The forms of violence covered by the Istanbul Convention include psychological violence, stalking, sexual harassment, physical violence, sexual violence including rape, forced marriage, female genital mutilation, forced abortion and forced sterilisation.

In line with the ratification of the Istanbul Convention, provisions to address female genital mutilation, forced marriage and forced sterilisation were recently included in the Maltese Criminal Code. So as to make Malta to comply with the provisions of this Convention, an Inter ministerial Committee, which includes representatives from the Commission on Domestic Violence, the Ministry for the Family and Social Solidarity, the Ministry for Dialogue, Consumers’ Affairs and Civil Liberties as well as other experts, was set up to review national legislation and propose the legal amendments, initiatives and measures required to meet the obligations listed in the Convention.

The Committee is adopting a multidisciplinary approach to ensure that all stakeholders extend their collaboration to reach one goal, that of preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence.

The National Commission for the Promotion of Equality and the Commission on Domestic Violence are working in tandem to increase the awareness about the need to uphold this human right and to improve the lives of women and men who experience violence by strengthening existing tools and propose new measures in line with the provisions of the Istanbul Convention.

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