Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence (Istanbul Convention)

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The Istanbul Convention, is the first legally binding instrument in the world creating a comprehensive legal framework to prevent violence, to protect victims and to end the impunity of perpetrators. It defines and criminalises various forms of violence against women, including female genital mutilation, forced marriage, stalking, physical and psychological violence and sexual violence). State parties are required to implement their obligations under the principle of integrated policies, involving government agencies, NGOs and national, regional and local parliaments and authorities. Finally, it also establishes a specific monitoring and reporting mechanism to be carried out by a group of independent experts. The Istanbul Convention is open to signature and ratification by any State in the world and not only members of the Council of Europe.

Amnesty International and the Council of Europe have created a guide on the Istanbul Convention as a tool to end FGM.