The Council of the European Union adopted its conclusions on Violence Against Women at its 3206th Employment, Social Policy, Health and Consumer affairs (EPSCO) Council meeting on 6 December 2012. The council calls to consider 2015 as the European Year on Zero Tolerance for Violence against Women.
Considering the fact that violence against women affects society as a whole, the Council adopted a few conclusions to tackle the problem.
There is NO justification whatsoever for violence against women. The Council makes it clear tthat custom, tradition, culture, privacy, religion, and so-called honour can never justify violence. These factors also give no reason for avoiding the obligations of member states in their efforts to prevent and eliminate violence and prosecute perpetrators. The Council of Ministers calls for coordinated policies at a national, local and international level to combat and eliminate all forms of violence against women.
Strong emphasis is placed on collecting data on victims and perpetrators and to developing information’ sources. Information concerning violence against women is often hidden which limits understanding of the real extent of the problem and its consequences. It also impedes the further development of policies, strategies and actions.
The Council settled the elimination and prevention of all forms of violence against women and girls as a priority theme of the 57th Session of the United Nation Commission on the Status of Women in 2013.
The ministers called on the Members States and the European Commission to develop and implement action plans, programmes or strategies to combat all forms of violence against women and girls, involving all relevant legislative and non-legislative measures. The Council also calls for more appropriate training of relevant professionals in the area.
The Council recommends a European helpline to assist victims of violence against women to be established by Member States and the European Commission.
The European Parliament, and the European Commission, as well as Member States, are invited to take actively contribute to this issue. For example, they could consider signing, ratifying and implementing the Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combatting violence and takemore primary prevention measures to combat violence against women.
Last but not least, the Council invited the European Parliament, European Commission and Member States to ensure appropriate and sustainable funding.
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