Poland should not withdraw from Istanbul Convention, Council of Europe head

Council of Europe Secretary General Marija Pejcinovic Buric reacting to recent voices by Polish right-wing politicians calling for Poland's withdrawal from the Istanbul Convention said the country should not withdraw.

Following recent news of Polish intentions to withdraw from the Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence, also known as the Istanbul Convention Marija Pejcinovic Buric made the following statement:

"Announcements by government officials that Poland should withdraw from the Istanbul Convention are alarming. The Istanbul Convention is the Council of Europe‘s key international treaty to combat violence against women and domestic violence - and that is its sole objective," wrote Buric as published on the Council of Europe’s web page.

She added that "if there are any misconceptions or misunderstandings about the Convention, we are ready to clarify them in a constructive dialogue. Leaving the Istanbul Convention would be highly regrettable and a major step backwards in the protection of women against violence in Europe."

The Istanbul Convention was drafted in 2011 and entered into force in August 2014. Poland signed the convention in December 2012 and ratified it in 2015.