Istanbul Convention

Thank you for contacting me about the Istanbul Convention.

This Government remains committed to tackling violence against women and girls and to ratifying the Istanbul Convention. As you will be aware, the previous Government signed the Convention in June 2012 and in most respects, the measures already in place in the UK to protect women and girls from violence comply with or go further than the Convention requires.

It is the case that further amendments to domestic law, to take extra-territorial jurisdiction over a range of offences, are necessary before the Convention can be ratified. I have been assured that the Government will seek to legislate when the approach to implementing the extra-territorial jurisdiction requirements in England and Wales is agreed and Parliamentary time allows.

Let me be clear that the UK continues to lead efforts at home and abroad to tackle violence against women and girls, end Female Genital Mutilation and combat early and forced marriage.

I was glad to be in attendance to vote for the Bill. The Government has made clear that it has carefully considered the Bill and supports its key principles, which place a duty on the Government to take all reasonable steps to enable us to become compliant with the convention and require the Government to lay before Parliament a report setting out the steps to be taken to enable it to ratify the convention. I should make clear that there are areas which the Government has said it will consider more fully in consultation with the devolved Administrations and return to at the later stages of the Bill.