KOD’s statement regarding the government’s work on the Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence

We are deeply concerned by the announced opening of a discussion on the anti-violence convention and in particular, by the statement from Elżbieta Rafalska, the minister of Family, Labour and Social Policy, that she supports the renunciation of the convention. The announcement was confirmed by the Ministry of Justice.

We are outraged that the representatives of the Polish government are talking about the renunciation of this international agreement – aimed at preventing and combating violence against women, securing help for the victims and elimination of all kinds of discrimination against women – and that they state that the resolutions of the convention are not consistent with ‘our’ world views. Protection of the Polish citizens’ lives is not something that should depend on the views of the MPs.

By undermining the anti-violence convention, Law and Justice party (PiS) once again strikes at women’s rights. It also – yet again – puts Poland’s reputation at risk of being compromised. Is the Law and Justice’s government going to also breach a number of others documents quoted in the preamble of the anti-violence convention, e.g. European Convention on Human Rights?

In Poland, about one million women a year become a victim of violence.

This is not a discussion about someone’s world view. Polish government, the minister of Family, Labour and Social Policy and the Government Plenipotentiary for Civil Society and Equal Treatment have a duty to combat violence against women.

We still hope that the government’s work on the anti-violence convention aims to enforce many defunct legislations. We believe that the government is going to work closely with institutions and organisations which were working on women’s rights and combating violence against women for years.

We reckon that after the October protests, the Law and Justice government drew conclusions and understood that no one is allowed to breach women’s rights.

Board Member of the Committee for the Defence of Democracy: Piotr Chabora, Magdalena Filiks, Mateusz Kijowski, Krzysztof Król, Małgorzata Lech-Krawczyk, Jarosław Marciniak, Radomir Szumełda

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