Welfare minister still objects to ratification of Istanbul Convention by Latvia

  • 2020-08-05
  • LETA/TBT Staff

RIGA - Welfare Minister Ramona Petravica (KPV LV) is still not ready to support ratification of the Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence (Istanbul Convention) by Latvia.

In an interview with TV3 this morning, Petravica said that she, on behalf of the Welfare Ministry, would not propose ratification of the convention by Latvia.

When asked what was wrong with the convention, the minister said that "the convention is presented as a document that protects women from violence, [however,] violence has never been allowed in or country, our laws provide that those who commit violent acts are held accountable."

Latvia, and the Welfare Ministry in particular, have done very much to eradicate violence, and there have been a lot of improvements in Latvia, namely, people no longer believe that they should remain silent about violence, added Petravica.

As reported, the Istanbul Convention has been prepared for ratification by Saeima quite a while ago, but Prime Minister Krisjanis Karins (New Unity) has admitted that Saeima majority will likely not support ratification of the convention. According to Karins, part of Latvian society does not fully understand, or even misunderstands, the purpose of the convention, namely, to eradicate violence against women, and interprets the purpose of the Convention differently.

After receiving a petition from New Unity and For Development/For, the Constitutional Court on Monday initiated a case on the Istanbul Convention's compliance with the Constitution of Latvia. The Cabinet of Ministers has to present its position to the Constitutional Court until October 5.

Representatives of political parties and the church, as well as experts, have differing opinions of the objectives, content and necessity of the convention. The deniers of the convention believe that it provides an artificially constructed concept of social gender, offers society ideological positions that are incompatible with the concept of natural human rights.

Seven EU member countries have not ratified the Istanbul Convention as yet: Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Lithuania, Latvia, Slovakia and Great Britain.