The group of experts that helped devise important legislation that could improve the lives of thousands of women and girls across the country have released a joint statement calling for swift action from the UK Government.
The Advisory Committee on the Preventing and Combating Violence Against Women, and Domestic Violence (Ratification of Convention) Bill helped draft the legislation and supported Dr Eilidh Whiteford, the former SNP MP for Banff & Buchan who successfully led the Bill through to Royal Assent.
The legislation puts a requirement on the UK Government to submit a report to both Houses of Parliament detailing a timetable towards the ratification of the Istanbul Convention, including details on the steps needed to ensure compliance. The deadline for this report to Parliament looms, November 1.
The Advisory Committee has now published the following joint statement : "The Preventing and Combating Violence Against Women and Domestic Violence (Ratification of Convention) Act, came in to force June 27 following the successful passage through both Houses under the navigation of Dr Whiteford and Baroness Gale.
"During the deliberations of the legislation, the Minister was clear that the UK Government would commit to laying a report to Parliament alongside an Oral Statement to allow for scrutiny of the timetable towards ratification of the Istanbul Convention.
"We welcome the announcement of the proposed Domestic Violence and Abuse Bill in June with the proposal to include the extraterritorial changes required to enable the ratification of the Istanbul Convention. However, as this will only cover England and Wales we are keen to learn what action is being taken in Scotland and Northern Ireland in relation to extra-territorial jurisdiction.
"We look forward to the timely presentation of the report to Parliament, the Government must submit to both Houses with an Oral Statement to allow for all members to scrutinise progress ahead of the November 1 deadline.
"The Istanbul Convention is quite simply the best piece of violence against women legislation in the world, and there must be swift action to protect women and girls across the country."