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Turkey signs convention to combat 'honor' crimes

12 May 2011 [11:00] - TODAY.AZ
Turkey was the first country to sign on Wednesday a new European convention to prevent and combat violence against women, including crimes based on custom, religion, tradition or "honor."

Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu, the president of the Ministers Committee of the Council of Europe, signed the convention at the 121st meeting of the Council of Europe ministers, which is being held in Istanbul.

The convention sets out standards for member states to act with integrated policies to tackle gender-based violent crimes and promote international cooperation. As member states of the council ratify the treaty, they become obliged to take legislative or other measures to ensure that acts such as domestic violence, violence in public places, sexual harassment, forced marriage, “honor” crimes, rape and genital mutilation are criminalized.

Thus far 13 countries – Austria, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Luxembourg, Montenegro, Portugal, Slovakia, Spain and Sweden, in addition to Turkey – have signed the convention. While negotiating on the draft convention, some countries such as Bulgaria and Russia put conditions on the treaty, Turkish officials said.

The convention envisions member states adding topics of gender equality, combating violence against women and mutual respect to their educational curriculum.

The treaty defines "domestic violence" as all acts of physical, sexual, psychological or economic violence that occur within a family or domestic unit or between former or current spouses or partners, whether or not the perpetrator shares or has shared the same residence with the victim.

A supervision mechanism will be set up to monitor the implementation of the treaty by signatory countries.

/Hurriyet Daily News/

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