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The Saeima of Latvia ratifies the Istanbul Convention

Nov 30, 2023

On Thursday, November 30, the Latvian Saeima approved in the final reading a bill to ratify the Istanbul Convention, the Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence.

Delfi portal reports.

"51 deputies from the ruling coalition voted in favor.

The main goal of the Istanbul Convention is to protect women from violence, and victims of domestic violence, which has been emphasized many times.

However, this document has become a target for attacks by politicians who hold traditional, conservative views and, importantly, oppose the legal recognition of same-sex marriage, although the Convention does not mention this form of partnership.


Article 3 (c) of the Istanbul Convention only defines the term "gender" as "socially assigned roles, behaviors, activities and characteristics that a given society considers appropriate for women and men."

However, opponents of ratification argued that the Istanbul Convention threatened the existence of the traditional family and the traditional roles of men and women. These disputes were the reason why Latvia postponed the ratification of the Istanbul Convention for more than a decade.

In order to secure the support of the majority of MPs in the Saeima, the Ministry of Welfare this time introduced an article in the draft law on ratification of the Istanbul Convention that refers to the Satversme (Constitution) of Latvia: "In the implementation of the Convention, Latvia shall apply the values, principles and norms included in the Satversme of the Republic of Latvia, especially with regard to the protection of human rights, equality of men and women, protection and support of marriage, family and children's rights."

Author - Olena Madiak, 30/11/2023

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