European regional mechanism for the prevention, punishment and elimination of violence against women
The article describes the process of establishing mechanism for preventing, punishing and eliminating violence against women in the European region and outlines the main components of such mechanism. The main non-binding Council of Europe instruments on violence elimination against women, namely the Declaration on Policies for Combating Violence against Women in a Democratic Europe (adopted at the 3rd European Ministerial Conference on Equality between Women and Men (Rome, 21-22 October 1993) and Council of Europe Committee of Ministers Recommendation Rec(2002)5 to member states on the protection of women against violence are analyzed.
The key developments of the Council of Europe Convention on Preventing and Combating Violence against Women and Domestic Violence are characterized. It has been found that in the Convention, the phenomenon of "woman" and "femininity" is disclosed through the category of gender, but not through purely sexual biological traits. Both the concept of gender based violence and cross-border approach to violence against women have been considered. The main obligations of States with regard to the protection of certain categories of women who may be victims of violence due to their particular status, such as migrant women and refugees, are also discussed in the article. The main aspects of substantive law norms of the Convention have been analyzed. The monitoring mechanism of the Istanbul Convention, which consists of Committee of the Parties and the Group of Experts on Action against Violence against Women and Domestic Violence, has been described.
It has been found that the case law of the European Court of Human Rights plays an important role in developing effective mechanism for combating violence against women. The high-profile case of the ECHR concerning the issue of violence against women (Opuz v. Turkey, 2009) has been discussed.
A brief overview of the legal framework on violence against women in Ukraine has been provided. Key directions for the improvement of the Ukrainian national mechanism for combating violence against women have been suggested.
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