Slovak lawmakers reject international women's rights treaty


BRATISLAVA, Slovakia (AP) — Slovakia’s lawmakers approved a resolution on Friday to reject an international treaty on women’s rights.

Parliament voted 101-28 with three abstentions to ask the government to stop the process of ratification of the treaty known as the Istanbul Convention and inform the Council of Europe that Slovakia will stay out of it.

The document was adopted by the Council of Europe in 2011 in a bid to deter violence against women throughout Europe.

The resolution was drafted by the ultra-nationalist Slovak National Party, a member of the ruling coalition. Its lawmakers argued that they were against violence against women and were ready to discuss new laws that address the issue.

Opponents of the convention in Slovakia, a Roman Catholic stronghold, charge that some provisions would go against some Slovak traditions and even violate the Slovak Constitution — for example because the charter defines marriage as a union of a man and a woman.

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The move was welcomed by the Slovak Conference of Bishops.

Bulgaria is another European Union country that stopped the ratification of the convention last year.

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