'Ratify convention on violence against women'
RECENT events concerning the Wexford Women's Refuge have highlighted again the need for more to be done to protect vulnerable women, a Wexford councillor told fellow members of the borough council.
Cllr Davy Hynes, pictured, was proposing a motion urging the council to urge the government to ratify the Council of Europe Convention on Preventing and Combating Violence Against Women and Domestic Violence.
Cllr Hynes said the convention calls for legally binding standards to prevent violence against women and domestic violence, protect its victims and punish the perpetrators.
Since October 2012, it has been signed by 23 countries. It is considered to be a landmark treaty because it is the first legally binding instrument in Europe creating a comprehensive legal framework to protect women against all forms of violence and in terms of scope, the most far reaching international treaty to tackle this serious violation of human rights.
Minister for Justice and Equality Alan Shatter recently said in the Dáil in answer to questions put to him by TD Roisin Shortall and other members that 'asked why has Ireland not signed or ratified the convention yet', he said 'Ireland supports, in principle, the aims and terms of the Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence.'
'It is a detailed convention with a very broad scope across a number of policy areas with potential policy and legislative implications. The provisions of the convention and the legislative and administrative arrangements that would be necessary to allow signature and ratification of the convention by Ireland are being examined in conjunction with the government commitment to introduce consolidated and reformed domestic violence legislation to address all aspects of domestic violence, threatened violence and intimidation, in a way that provides protection to victims.
However, Ireland is having difficulties with property rights under the Irish constitution with the requirement under Article 52 of the convention on the availability of emergency barring orders. 'We are told that these will be addressed as soon as possible,' said Cllr Hynes.
'The situation can't be delayed as one reason why we need women's refuges is that women have to sometimes run for their lives with their children with only the clothes on their backs.
The members unanimously backed his motion.