Seven years into the adoption of the Istanbul Convention, Serbia still did not have in place a strategy nor had been setting aside funds to combat violence against women, while the victims had not been taken care of properly during the coronavirus crisis, association Fenomena said in a statement on May 11.
“On the 10th anniversary of this important convention, we underline that the lives of a large number of women and girls would be protected if the government had consistently implemented the Istanbul Convention, that is, a regulation that can be directly applied, but the Serbian judiciary has not been doing so,” it is said in the statement.
The Istanbul Convention is the first international legally binding instrument to combat violence against women and domestic violence. It aims at involving as many countries as possible and thereby ensuring essential legal protection to women and girls across the world. Serbia ratified the Convention in late 2013, which took effect in 2014.
“Serbia does not even have in place a strategy to combat violence and it seems that the state has been economizing on the provision of adequate protection of the victims of violence and prevention of violence. The state does not even collect official data on prevalence of violence, and there are no prevention programs in schools,” the statement said. It added that everything had been done either by 30 women associations across Serbia, or international organizations, while the state had not been assuming responsibility as envisaged under the Istanbul Convention.