Poland prepares to exit treaty that protects women from violence

Ahmed Farooq, International Law Officer

2 Aug 2020

Poland's justice minister, Zbigniew Ziobro, recently declared that the country would be exiting the Istanbul Convention. The treaty, signed in 2012 by the previous Polish government, protects women from various forms of violence.

Ziobro claimed that the treaty contained harmful ideological values that went against the country's fundamental values. He expressed the belief that leaving the treaty would not worsen the status of women in the country due to the pre-existence of mechanisms that serve to protect women. However, many critics disagree. Secretary General of the Council of Europe, Marija Pejčinović Burić, called the move “alarming” and stated that Poland’s decision “would be highly regrettable and a major step backwards in the protection of women against violence in Europe”.

Since the announcement, many Polish citizens have taken to the streets in protest.

Read more about Poland’s withdrawal here: https://www.bbc.com/news/amp/world-europe-53538205.

To read more about the Council of Europe statement, follow this link: https://www.coe.int/en/web/istanbul-convention/newsroom/-/asset_publisher/anlInZ5mw6yX/content/poland-should-not-withdraw-from-the-istanbul-convention-says-secretary-general?inheritRedirect=false&redirect=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.coe.int%2Fen%2Fweb%2Fistanbul-convention%2Fnewsroom%3Fp_p_id%3D101_INSTANCE_anlInZ5mw6yX%26p_p_lifecycle%3D0%26p_p_state%3Dnormal%26p_p_mode%3Dview%26p_p_col_id%3Dcolumn-1%26p_p_col_count%3D2

Want to know more about the Istanbul Convention? Follow this link: https://www.coe.int/en/web/istanbul-convention/.