UNSA Vienna Statement – Turkey’s withdrawal from the Istanbul Convention

President Erdogan ended Turkey’s participation in the Istanbul Convention through a decree on March 20, 2021. On July 1, 2021, Turkey officially withdrew from an essential international treaty, which set legally binding standards to prevent all forms of gender-based violence. The reason given by the Turkish leadership was that the agreement had been taken over by people “attempting to normalize homosexuality” in Turkey. Women’s rights organizations and LGBTQI+ rights groups have criticized and protested this decision. According to the “We Will Stop Femicide” Platform, in Turkey 189 women were murdered in 2021 so far and 409 women were murdered in 2020. Furthermore, the Amnesty International Secretary-General, Agnès Callamard criticized Turkey’s withdrawal in a statement: "Turkey [has] turned its back on the gold standard for the safety of women and girls."On July 1, the President unveiled an “Action Plan for Combating Violence against Women” and presented goals, such as reviewing judicial processes, improving protection services and gathering data on femicide.It should be emphasized one more time: Violence against women is a violation of human rights. We are firmly convinced that the Istanbul Convention is essential for allstates in order to be able to take a stand against violence against women on a legal and institutional level. No woman or girl in the world should be exposed to violence orhave to fight for her life. For this reason, we support and raise awareness of SDG 5, “Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls".