Louise Hooper of the Garden Court Chambers Immigration Team joined a delegation of the Council of Europe’s Group of Experts on Action against Violence against Women and Domestic Violence (GREVIO), as part of an evaluation visit to Sweden from 26 to 29 March 2018.
This visit followed GREVIO’s review of Sweden’s state report and the state dialogue with the Swedish representatives held in Strasbourg on 21 February 2018. It was one of the steps in the procedure to monitor the implementation of the Istanbul Convention by Sweden.
The Istanbul Convention, also known as the Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence, is based on the understanding that states must fully address gender-based violence in all its forms and take measures to prevent such violence, protect the victims and prosecute the perpetrators. GREVIO has only recently launched its first (baseline) evaluation of the Convention and Sweden is the eighth state party to undergo the procedure.
The GREVIO delegation was led by Iris Luarasi and Marceline Naudi and supported by two specialists Louise Hooper of Garden Court Chambers and Maria Eriksson. Two members of the Council of Europe Secretariat based in Strasbourg also formed part of the group.
Meetings were held with several public institutions and ministries, including the Ministry of Health and Social Affairs, the Ministry of Culture, Ministry of Employment, Ministry of Justice, and the Swedish Prosecution Authority as well as the Swedish Migration Agency. Meetings with civil society and NGOs included representatives of specialist support services and lawyers practicing in the field.
Although no comment can be made on its findings during the visit, GREVIO plans to publish its evaluation report on Sweden by the end of 2018.