Why is Czechia reluctant to ratify the Istanbul Convention?

Photo: Khalil Baalbaki, Czech Radio

The Czech government announced on Wednesday that Czechia would abstain from a vote on the EU’s accession to the Istanbul Convention on combatting violence against women. Two of the ruling parties are reluctant to support it and the cabinet is yet to decide whether to put the convention to a vote in the Czech parliament.

Czechia is one of the last six Council of Europe countries that have not yet ratified the convention on a national level. Similarly as in Bulgaria, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania and Slovakia, some political parties in this country are holding out against it for fear that it would “interfere with the legal order and put traditions and values at risk.”

The need to move ahead and ratify the document has become the first point of contention between the country’s recently inaugurated president, Petr Pavel, and the Fiala administration. The head of state sees no reason to delay the document’s ratification while the cabinet remains divided on the matter.

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Author: Daniela Lazarová