Budapest, January 31 (MTI) – Politicians taking part in a roundtable on domestic violence called for Hungary’s ratification of the Istanbul Convention on preventing domestic abuse and combatting violence against women on Tuesday.
The roundtable, organised by the For a Liberal Hungary Foundation (ALMA) of the opposition Liberal Party, was attended by representatives of the opposition LMP and Együtt parties, Jobbik and the Socialist Party. The ruling parties did not take part in the discussion.
Anett Bősz of the Liberals said the aim of the roundtable was to search for solutions to bolster the effectiveness of institutions designed to support the victims of domestic violence. Among these, she highlighted the issuance and oversight of restraining orders, as an institution that needed to be strengthened. The justice system is also ineffective in prosecuting domestic abusers, she said, criticising the system for treating violence against women and children as separate issues.
Bősz also criticised the ruling parties for refusing to participate in talks on combatting domestic abuse.
Zsuzsanna Szelényi called on the government to ratify the Istanbul Convention containing protocols on domestic violence prevention, increasing social awareness of the issue, penalising domestic abusers and protecting abuse victims.
LMP co-leader Bernadett Szél said the ruling Fidesz-KDNP alliance “is having a harder and harder time explaining” why they did not want to ratify the convention. She called on those speaking out against domestic abuse to build enough public support for the convention so that the government would have no other choice but to ratify it.
Ildikó Borbély Bangó of the Socialists said Hungarian society was “at least as hypocritical” on the topic of domestic violence as the government. She urged the government to implement the Istanbul Convention “no matter how much it may cost”.
Jobbik lawmaker Sebestyén Vágó highlighted the importance of protecting and appreciating those who report domestic violence and child protection workers. He proposed that failure to report cases of domestic violence should be punished under the penal code.
Commenting on the event, ruling Fidesz said it was immigration itself and “pro-immigration parties” that posed “the biggest threat” to women in Europe. “The number of violent crimes against women and children has increased dramatically wherever migrants have appeared,” Balázs Hidvéghi, the party’s communications director, said. The same parties that “spend time worrying about women in words at a roundtable were jointly responsible for blocking in parliament a constitutional amendment proposal prohibiting the settlement of migrants in Hungary,” Hidvéghi said.
Read more details about Istanbul Convention HERE.