Marija Pejčinović Burić said in a statement on Sunday that “announcements by government officials that Poland should withdraw from the Istanbul Convention are alarming.”
She added that “the Istanbul Convention is the Council of Europe‘s key international treaty to combat violence against women and domestic violence - and that is its sole objective."
"If there are any misconceptions or misunderstandings about the Convention, we are ready to clarify them in a constructive dialogue,” Pejčinović Burić, who is secretary-general of the Council of Europe, said.
"Leaving the Istanbul Convention would be highly regrettable and a major step backwards in the protection of women against violence in Europe," she also said.
Pejčinović Burić made her statement after Poland’s Justice Minister Zbigniew Ziobro announced a day earlier that the country was set to take steps to leave the European domestic violence treaty, state news agency PAP reported.
Ziobro told reporters on Saturday that the document contained "ideological provisions” that Poland’s ruling conservatives “do not accept and consider harmful."
He added that Poland’s own legal system, reshaped by the country’s ruling conservatives in recent years, provided sufficient protection for women.
The Council of Europe is a 47-nation international organisation that aims to promote human rights, democracy and the rule of law.
Source: PAP, coe.int