EWL actions

Social Platform issues position paper on EU action to combat all forms of bias violence

[Brussels, 11 November 2012] The Social Platform, an alliance of representative European federations and networks of non-governmental organisations active in the social sector, of which the European Women’s Lobby is a member, has issued a position paper calling on the EU to take all measures to eliminate all forms of bias violence, including violence against women and girls.

The EWL welcomes this position paper, which acknowledges the structural nature of violence against women and girls: ’Violence against girls and women reflects a typical form of severe structural inequality widespread in all areas of society as it affects all women, irrespective of whether they also belong to other minority groups.’

Concretely, the Social Platform calls on the EU to adopt an EU strategy to end violence against women and girls encompassing comprehensive European legal instruments and actions on eradicating all forms of male violence against women in the EU. It calls on the EU Make 2015 a European Year to end violence against women and girls and develop other long-term, funded and EU coordinated campaigns. Finally, it demands on the EU and its Member States to ratify the Council of Europe Convention on prevenitng and combating violence against women and domestic violence.

Download the position paper here.

Introduction of the Social Platform position paper towards EU actions against all forms of bias violence

Acts of violence committed with a bias motive, or triggered by prejudice, or ingrained in unequal structures in society are a wide-spread reality in Europe. As such, they result in serious breaches of human rights protected by the European Convention on Human Rights and the European Union’s Charter of Fundamental Rights. Whenever public authorities fail to take measures to identify, prevent and redress such violence, they fail to enforce those rights.

The economic crisis creates conditions associated with intimate relationship violence whereby victims have fewer resources to be safe, to flee and to protect themselves from violence. This is the direct impact of public spending cuts on policy and judiciary, legal aid, public health services, welfare benefits and housing benefits.

In recent years, Social Platform has prioritized two related areas: 1) the contribution to European policies to combat violence against women; 2) the monitoring of European policy processes that can contribute to tackling different forms of hate-motivated and bias-motivated violence and crime. Building on this work, and on the expertise of its members, the Social Platform has developed a generic concept of bias violence to advance a common agenda of policy recommendations to fight any form of violence.

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