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Conference to combat violence against women and domestic violence in Helsinki - Permanent Mission of Finland, Geneva : Current Affairs : Ministry for Foreign Affairs News


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Press Releases, 1/10/2013 | Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland

Conference to combat violence against women and domestic violence in Helsinki

Press release 1/2013
10 January 2013

The Ministry for Foreign Affairs, together with the Council of Europe and the Finnish delegation of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, is organising a regional conference on the Council of Europe convention to combat violence against women and domestic violence, known as the Istanbul Convention, on 17 January. Foreign Minister Erkki Tuomioja will open the conference.

The purpose of the conference is to increase the awareness of parliamentarians, NGOs, the media and other professionals of the Istanbul Convention and to discuss the benefits and challenges of ratification, as well as to share positive experiences and good practices.

The conference will be attended by representatives of Finland, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Iceland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Germany, Poland and Russia. Several international and national experts will speak at the conference.

Violence against women, including domestic violence, is a violation of human rights as well as a form of discrimination and a serious global problem. The Istanbul Convention is the first legally binding European Convention and globally the most far-reaching agreement to address the problem of violence against women.

The objectives of the Convention are to prevent and eliminate violence, protect victims and to see that perpetrators of acts of violence are prosecuted. It also seeks to influence individuals’ attitudes and ways of thinking in order to eliminate violence from society. An objective of the Convention is also to eradicate all forms of discrimination against women and to promote actual equality between women and men.

Finland signed the Istanbul Convention in May 2011, and the intention is to submit the Government’s proposal on ratification of the Convention to the Finnish Parliament in 2013. The Convention is not yet in force internationally.

The conference language is English, with simultaneous interpreting into Russian.

More information

Additional information: Mia Spolander, Legal Officer, Unit for Human Rights Courts and Conventions, tel. +358 9 1605 5727, email:; and Katharina Bäckman, Desk Officer (Council of Europe), Unit for Human Rights Policy, tel. +358 9 1605 5956, email:

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Updated 1/10/2013

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