Minister on Istanbul Convention: stereotypes are hardest to fight

Some Latvian politicians do not want to ratify the Istanbul Convention which aims to fight domestic violence because of stereotypes, and fighting those is the most difficult, Welfare Minister Evika Siliņa (New Unity) told Latvian Radio on July 13.

The government planned to consider the proposal for the referral of the convention to the Saeima this week, but the matter has been postponed again following the objection of the United List in the coalition.

Siliņa told LR that it is planned to add a declaration that stresses the values of family and marriage as defined in the Constitution, but the United List still has concerns that the Convention could be interpreted more broadly.

Siliņa said stereotypes about the convention have been embedded in Latvia for several years, although the aim is to fight violence against women and domestic violence.

The tragic killing of a woman in Jēkabpils and the situation in Dobele where a violent husband was released from custody indicates that not everything is right in Latvia, the Minister said, pointing out that the convention “could be left in peace” if we investigated such cases brilliantly and the public would be able to recognize violence, but it is not the case.

The National Alliance, which forms part of the coalition, isn't prepared to support the convention at all, Silina said. The United List is looking for a way to do this, but it did not make specific proposals, so the Minister concludes that “these are the stereotypes that are most difficult to fight”.

The government will meet at its next meeting in August, when it will have to understand how the issue of the convention and other issues will move further, Siliņa said.

She also expressed regret that “we are going to stereotypes and reading the convention the way it is not”.


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