Europe launches treaty to protect women from violence

The European human rights watchdog, the Council of Europe, has launched a legally binding international treaty to combat violence against women.

It is the first such treaty in the world, the council says.

Signatories will have to provide helplines, shelters, medical care and legal aid for women who have suffered rape or other forms of violence.

France, Germany, Greece, Spain and Turkey are among the 13 countries that signed it in Istanbul on Wednesday.

The others are: Austria, Finland, Iceland, Luxembourg, Montenegro, Portugal, Slovakia and Sweden.

The council calls it a “comprehensive legal framework to protect women against all forms of violence”. It is open for other countries to sign too.

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