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    Czech Senate lacks votes to ratify Istanbul Convention

    Czech Senators voted against the ratification of the Istanbul Convention. Their argument is that domestic violence has not decreased in countries that have ratified it.

    This is reported by CREDO.

    In the middle of last year, the Czech government agreed to start the process of ratification of the Istanbul Convention by parliament. However, the Cabinet of Ministers led by Petro Fiala was divided in its views regarding the document. The centrist parties — Mayors and Independents (STAN), the Czech Pirate Party and TOR 09 — spoke in favor of the Convention; the conservative Civic Democratic Party (ODS) and the Christian Democratic Union – Czechoslovak People’s Party (KDU-ČSL) were rather against it. On the Senate floor, the Istanbul Convention saw support from 34 out of 71 members; accordingly, it fell two votes short of approval.

    The majority of the Social Democrats (ČSSD) voted to reject the ratification, while a group of members of the conservative ODS, together with Senate Chairman Milos Vystrchyl, wanted the document to pass.

    Minister of Foreign Affairs Martyn Dvořák was disappointed about the decision as in his opinion, senators made the convention a “scarecrow” unnecessarily. However, in the highly secularized Czech Republic, an argument that often appeared in the discussions was the lack of effectiveness of the Istanbul Convention. In the states that ratified this document, which was supposed to protect those exposed to domestic violence, the situation in this area has not improved at all, while promotion of gender ideology in education systems and through subsidized non-governmental organizations has only intensified.

    The Czech Republic is one of the six EU countries that, despite open pressure from the EU institutions, have not ratified the Istanbul Convention, alongside Hungary, Bulgaria, Slovakia, Lithuania, and Latvia.

    As a reminder, the Council of Europe Convention on the Prevention of Violence against Women and Domestic Violence (Istanbul Convention) entered into force in Ukraine on November 1, 2022.

    Religious leaders of Ukraine opposed the ratification of the Istanbul Convention.

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