Fianna Fáil Senator Fiona O’Loughlin says the proposed withdrawal from the Istanbul Convention by the government of Poland is extremely concerning.  

Senator O’Loughlin has written to Polish Ambassador Anna Sochańska to voice her concerns at the proposed withdrawal.  

Senator O’Loughlin said, “At the heart of the Istanbul Convention is the understanding that violence against women is a form of gender-based violence. I am extremely concerned that a member country of the European Union would now begin the process to walk away from the Convention.  

“What does this move say to women in Poland and Europe. It starts a very dangerous journey which we must call out.  

“I was proud to support the ratification of the Istanbul Convention in the Dáil in March 2019. The formal ratification of the Convention committed Ireland to taking measures to prevent violence against women, protecting victims of domestic violence, and prosecuting their perpetrators.  

“We still have much more to do in our country. We need strong legislation, an increase in refuge capacity and improved facilities.  

“I look forward to working with my government colleagues to progress policies in the programme for government which include the development of the third National Strategy on Domestic, Sexual and Gender Based Violence, which will place a priority on prevention and reduction and will include a National Preventative Strategy and implement a plan for future refuge space on the publication of a review of domestic violence accommodation provision. 

“There is a lot to do but the commitment and determination is there. One action we must all take is call out regressive actions when we see them – the proposed withdrawal from the agreement by Poland is such an action and I would hope they reconsider this decision,” concluded Senator O’Loughlin.