The Greek Parliament has finally ratified the Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence (Istanbul Convention), and revised the relevant Greek law provisions.

The Istanbul Convention is the first complete framework for combating gender violence, and a very important step towards the Council of Europe’s efforts to ensure respect of women’s rights. Domestic violence and violence against women, in all its forms (verbal, physical, and psychological), constitutes the utmost expression of dominance between genders, and has come to the fore in Europe as a central issue of human rights’ violation.

Among others, the Istanbul Convention devotes an entire chapter to women migrants and asylum-seekers facing gender-based violence. It is the first time that gender-related persecution is mentioned in an international convention, establishing the obligations to recognize gender-based violence against women as a form of persecution within the meaning of the 1951 Refugee Convention, as well as to ensure that a gender-sensitive interpretation be given when establishing refugee status.