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Ukraine fails to ratify European convention on gender-based violence

Lawmakers set to formulate own reservations.

Ukraine fails to ratify European convention on gender-based violence
Photo: Photo: presidential press service

The Verkhovna Rada on Thursday, November 17 did not ratify the Council of Europe Convention on the prevention of violence against women and domestic violence” (Istanbul Convention) due to the presence of the terms "gender" and "sexual orientation" in the text of the document.

The deputies decided that first it is necessary to formulate reservations to the text of the Convention, which would correspond to "Ukrainian moral values."

"This convention contains provisions which are unacceptable to the Ukrainian society and Ukrainian spirituality," said MP Ihor Mosiychuk of the Radical Party.

He was supported by MPs from other factions. In particular, MP Yuriy Soloviy (PPO) stated that "Ukraine has always been the cradle of Christian values", and "offered to preserve a unique Ukrainian way." According to him, not all European values become Ukraine.

MP Oleh Lyashko (Radical Party) said that the state of Ukraine is must protect only the "traditional family." "When you talk about the ratification of the Convention, look at the neighboring Poland. They have ratified the convention with the reservations that are acceptable to the Polish society. We offer to do the same. We have here one lady chairman who reminded that the parliament is a temple and not a prayer. The temple is in everyone's soul," he said.

Meranwhile, Volodymyr Aryev said that the Convention deals exclusively with human rights. "Ukraine, when joining the Council of Europe, undertook to gradually ratify all conventions. If we don't, and keep talking again about the "spiritual bonds", we make Putin lucky. He will be pleased with our position," he said.

The assembly did not hear Aryev's voice, and the ratification of the draft bill was sent for revision to include the reservations.

Previously, the house adopted in the first reading two bills on domestic violencefrom which MPs are also eliminated the concept of "gender" and "sexual orientation".

In particular, the bill №5294 "On Preventing and Combating Domestic Violence" was approved only after the removal of all references of the terms "gender" and "sexual orientation".

The bill stated that the activities in the field of combating domestic violence shall be carried out without discrimination on any ground, including gender, gender identity or sexual orientation.

MP Pavlo Unguryan (People's Front), in particular, protested against mentioning of "gender".

"That is, there are males and females, and there is such a thing as gender. Those are some kind of roles, some types of behavior and they say they have already 58 [of such roles]," he said and insisted that the notion of gender should be abandoned "for the sake of Christian values and common sense." At his request and for same reasons the Rada also eliminated the concept of "sexual orientation" from the bill amending some laws of Ukraine in connection with the ratification of the Council of Europe Convention.