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Gavin Newlands has called on the UK Government to ensure all women and girls are protected from violence through an international treaty.

The Istanbul Convention on violence against women and girls is set to be ratified next month, ten years after first being signed by the UK Government.

But campaigners have urged the Government to remove two opt-outs – around cross-border criminality and migrant victims of violence – as quickly as possible so the full treaty can be incorporated in the UK.

At an event at Westminster organised by the IC Change campaign group and co-hosted by the Paisley and Renfrewshire North MP campaigners called for the opt-outs to be scrapped.

The IC Change group, a coalition of over 40 campaign groups, said, “To ensure all women are protected, we gathered with MPs and peers and a coalition of organisations in Parliament to call on Government to ratify the Convention without reservations.”

“The power of the Istanbul Convention lies in its protection of all women without discrimination. All women means all women. We will not settle for less.”

Gavin added:

“Since I was first elected MP I’ve been delighted to support the campaign for ratification of the Istanbul Convention over the years.

“Violence against women and girls is an international problem that needs tackled across borders, so getting support for the Istanbul Convention and getting it through the ratification process has been an important milestone in tackling what is a fundamental issue for society, not just here but around the globe.

“The IC Change campaign have been key to pushing the UK Government towards ratification and they should feel proud of the change they have made and helped change Government policy for the better.

“I was delighted to help host and support their event in Parliament this week, welcoming the imminent ratification of the treaty but also highlighting the fact that some women and girls are being left behind as the UK Government attaches opt-outs to its participation.

“That cannot be right – all women means all women and no-one should be excluded from protections simply because of where they come from. I’ve submitted a motion to Parliament this week signed by over 50 of my colleagues calling on the UK Government to remove their reservation and ratify the treaty without opt-outs.

“Violence against women and girls is something rotten not just at the heart of our local communities, but also on a global level, and anything that can be done to improve international co-operation and cross-border working is progress.

“I welcome the near culmination of a 10 year campaign fought by myself and many, many others, but there is still work to do to ensure the job is done.”


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