Ratification of Istanbul Convention is not a solution, NGOs

Even if the Convention on Preventing and Combating Violence against Women and Domestic Violence, known as the Istanbul Convention, pursued a laudable goal, de facto this cannot adequately solve the problem, consider a number of Christian NGOs. Representatives of the NGOs said the document suggests a new and controversial definition of gender in international law. As a result, the religious freedom and the parents’ right to educate their children in accordance with the own religious and moral beliefs are encroached upon.

In a news conference at IPN, Elena Bîtca, of the Movement of Orthodox Jurists, said this Convention is controversial and many states refuse to ratify it. “We are all against domestic violence. However, regrettably, this Convention is not a solution to the problem of domestic violence. We consider that by aiming to solve the problem of domestic violence, we actually generate another problem – gender ideology. The Convention proposes a controversial definition of gender in international law,” stated Elena Bîtca.

Alexandru Kovalskii, of the pubic association “Clean Planet”, said that by this Convention the signatory states practically undertake to recognize gender as an independent social construct of the person’s biological sex. “You are a woman or a man depending on what you choose. As the Convention allows for the existence of a definite social gender, aspects that run counter to the spiritual values of the largest part of the Moldovan people who consider they are Orthodox are being promoted,” stated Alexandru Kovalskii.

Natalia Șalari, head of the Independent Formation Center, noted the parents’ right to train their children is a fundamental one and this cannot be approved or limited intentionally. The Istanbul Convention distances itself considerably from this understanding of the role of parents.

“As far as we see, this Convention was astutely designed by jurists of the Council of Europe so as to infringe the traditions and values of the Christian countries. Hiding behind noble goals, they actually aim to promote these non-values so as to destroy the Christian and traditional values of our Christian family. But there are laws designed to defend the women in our country and this can be confirmed by the Ministry of the Interior, the Ministry of Justice,” stated Igor Sîrbu, of the Youth Movement “Voievod”.

The representatives of the organizations said that 5,000 signatures against the ratification of the Istanbul Convention have been collected all over the country during only two days. These will be transmitted to the senior administration. The call was signed by about 40 NGOs.

The Council of Europe Convention on Preventing and Combating Violence against Women and Domestic Violence was adopted in Istanbul on May 11, 2011. Moldova signed it in Strasbourg on February 6, 2017, being the 44th state that signed it. Prime Minister Ion Chicu on December 9 said the ratification of the Convention is a priority, but on December 11 the issue was removed from the Cabinet’s agenda.

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