The UK Government signed the Istanbul Convention on 8 June 2012.
Disappointingly, however, the UK still remains in limbo between signing and ratification. This is despite frequent questioning and promises by the Government.
The line - which is currently being recycled in various forms by the UK Government - states:
“Primary legislation will be needed to comply with the remaining extra-territorial jurisdiction provisions in Article 44 of the Convention before it can be ratified. The UK Government is liaising with the devolved administrations about ratification, including any further legislative steps necessary.”
It means that in theory there is one or two areas of law which need tidying up. However, this line has been used since September 2014. It seems the UK Government has stalled.
The Joint Committee on Human Rights has already said the UK Government could harm its international reputation as a leader on tackling violence against women by failing to ratify the Istanbul Convention.
We recognise that the UK Government has taken steps to comply with the Istanbul Convention, including creating legislation on forced marriage, psychological violence and FGM. We welcome these changes. But - to truly tackle the scale of violence against women in the UK - we need all of the measures set out in the Istanbul Convention.
Once the Istanbul Convention is ratified, the UK will have made a lasting commitment to ending violence against its women and girls. No matter who is in Government at any given time, all women and girls in the UK will be guaranteed the right to a life free from violence.
With the Istanbul Convention, the UK Government have promised change. Women need this change. Change is within reach: I see change – do you? #ICchange