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Ministers of the Council of Europe adopt Dublin Declaration to tackle domestic, sexual and gender-based violence

  • Minister Helen McEntee hosted two-day conference as part of Ireland’s Presidency of the Council of Europe
  • Dublin Declaration adopted by 38 countries of 46
  • Minister McEntee calls for collective support for Zero Tolerance of domestic, sexual and gender-based violence

Ministers of the Council of Europe responsible for addressing domestic, sexual and gender-based violence gathered in Dublin over the last two days at a conference entitled “No safe haven: Integrated prevention measures to end domestic, sexual and gender-based violence.”


The conference was hosted by Minister for Justice Helen McEntee TD as part of Ireland’s Presidency of the Committee of Ministers, which began in May for the seventh time in the history of the Council of Europe. It brought together Ministers and representatives from nations across the Council of Europe to discuss changing social norms to tackle violence against women, changing the behaviour of men who have been violent and training professionals to work with victims or perpetrators. 


Key note addresses were delivered by Minister for Justice, Helen McEntee TD, Council of Europe Secretary General Marija Pejčinović Burić, the President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, Tiny Kox, the Director of the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights, Michael O’Flaherty and Iris Luarasi, President of the Council of Europe’s Group of Experts on Action against Violence Against Women and Domestic Violence (GREVIO).


The Dublin Declaration on domestic, sexual and gender-based violence was adopted at the end of the conference, with 38 countries of the 46 in attendance supporting the Declaration. 


Speaking at the conference, Minister McEntee said:


“I was delighted to welcome my colleagues to Dublin for this two day conference, during which I believe we solidified our collective commitment to tackling domestic, sexual and gender-based violence across the continent.


Violence against women is a human rights violation that is widespread across all Council of Europe member states – that is a horrible reality and one that we have to address. One in three women in Europe experience some form of physical or sexual violence during their lifetime. One in 20 has been raped. Two in five women have experienced some form of psychological violence by either a current or a previous partner.


There should be zero tolerance in any society for this kind of behaviour. I want to see this change in Ireland and I want to see this change across Europe.


It is a key priority for me as Minister for Justice. I launched our third national strategy, Zero Tolerance, in June. It will work towards achieving a society in Ireland that has absolutely no tolerance for DSGBV or the attitudes that underpin it. It is built around the four pillars of the Istanbul Convention – prevention, protection, prosecution and policy co-ordination – and is therefore clearly aligned with the ambitions of the Council of Europe and the issues we will discuss over the next two days.


I am delighted that we have adopted the Dublin Declaration which sets out a high level of ambition for future collaborative work in this area.


I know this is something Iceland will continue to prioritise when they assume the Presidency in November and I look forward to supporting them as they build on our achievements over the next two days.”




Notes for editors:


  • The Council of Europe is the continent’s leading human rights organisation.
  • It has 46 member states, including all members of the European Union.
  • All Council of Europe member states have signed up to the European Convention on Human Rights, a treaty designed to protect human rights, democracy and the rule of law.
  • The European Court of Human Rights oversees the implementation of the Convention in the member states. Individuals can bring complaints of human rights violations to the Strasbourg Court once all possibilities of appeal have been exhausted in the member state concerned. 
  • The Council of Europe advocates freedom of expression and of the media, freedom of assembly, equality, and the protection of minorities.
  • It has launched campaigns on issues such as child protection, online hate speech, and the rights of the Roma, Europe's largest minority.
  • The Council of Europe helps member states fight corruption and terrorism and undertake necessary judicial reforms. Its group of constitutional experts, known as the Venice Commission, offers legal advice to countries throughout the world.
  • The Council of Europe promotes human rights through international conventions, such as the Convention on Preventing and Combating Violence against Women and Domestic Violence (Istanbul Convention) and the Convention on Cybercrime. It monitors member states' progress in these areas and makes recommendations through independent expert monitoring bodies.
  • Ireland ratified the Istanbul Convention in March 2019 -


Links to the English and French versions of the Dublin Declaration are below -