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EWLA Press Release on Turkey

Today, on the International day for the Elimination of Violence against women,  EWLA:

Considering the recent attempt on the 17th November by the Turkish General Assembly of GNAT (Grand National Assembly of Turkey) by the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) to introduce a bill which would allow the suspension and even the abolition following the limitation period of the criminal character of acts of sexual harassment perpetrated prior to 16 November 2016, if the perpetrator marries the victim;

The fact that the mere attempt or intention to introduce such an appalling bill is by itself in direct contravention of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women and the Istanbul Convention to which Turkey is a State party.

Expresses its deep concern and dismay towards such an attempt that would indirectly give the right to persons who have committed or would be willing to commit a potentially criminal act, in order to legitimise this act;

Joins the statements issued by the European Parliament, associations and organisations defending children and women's rights who have already expressed their concern and disapproval of such an attempt;

Urges national governments in Europe as well as the European Commission to take a firm stand and ideally introduce policy and legislative measures which would on the one hand discourage any future attempt by any national government to implement similar bills and on the other hand oblige EU Member States’ national governments to reinforce child and women protection rights with national legislative measures against all forms of violence, psychological or physical.