All-Ukrainian Council of Churches and Religious Organizations named the threats posed by the Istanbul Convention
The AUCCRO opposed introduction by the Istanbul Convention of the concept of “gender” as an ideological concept of human self-identification as it ignores the existence of biological sexes. Instead of ratifying the Istanbul Convention, the AUCCRO proposes to develop the national legislation of Ukraine on countering domestic violence and violence against women, as other European countries do. The document calls on the President of Ukraine, government representatives and human rights organizations to engage in a dialogue on joint actions, including with the participation of the religious community, in the field of preventing and countering domestic violence in Ukraine.
6 threats of the Istanbul Convention, specified by religious leaders.
1. Believers of different faiths are concerned about the announced intention by the Office of the President of Ukraine to submit to parliament a draft law on ratification of the Council of Europe Convention on Preventing and Combating Violence Against Women and Domestic Violence (known as the Istanbul Convention). We are concerned about the ideological bias and certain provisions of the Istanbul Convention, which convince us that it is inappropriate to ratify this particular international document.
2. The Istanbul Convention introduces the concept of “gender” as an ideological concept of human self-identification (Article 3). We cannot agree with this, because ignoring the fact that there are biological sexes that characterize a woman or a man, and the associated obligation to teach children non-stereotypical gender roles (Article 14 of the Convention) threatens to distort the younger generation's sexual identity, popularize same-sex sexual relations and spread cases of gender dysphoria among children and young people.
3. Our concern about the introduction of a gender ideology through the Istanbul Convention is reinforced by evidence of violence committed against girls and women by men who have declared a change in their “gender” and received the right to use women's washrooms, changing rooms, showers. As an example, in 2021 a high-profile incident occurred in Virginia, USA, when a 15-year-old schoolgirl was sexually assaulted by a transgender guy who used the school's women's toilet with the permission of the administration.
4. Given the dangers of gender ideology, instead of ratifying the Istanbul Convention, the AUCCRO calls for practical measures and development of Ukraine's national legislation on countering domestic violence and violence against women, as do other European countries that also refused to ratify this convention – Great Britain, Liechtenstein, Latvia, Lithuania, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Hungary, Bulgaria, Armenia and Turkey, which recently canceled the ratification of the Istanbul Convention.
5. With the assistance of the AUCCRO in 2017, the Parliament has already adopted Law No. 2227-VIII, aimed at implementing the provisions of the Istanbul Convention, bypassing contradictory concepts such as “gender” and “gender identity”: criminal liability for domestic violence was introduced, the content of articles on sexual violence and other crimes was clarified, and a mechanism of restrictive measures and prescriptions for abusers was introduced. In addition, a special program was adopted Law of Ukraine "on preventing and countering domestic violence" this indicates an opportunity for Ukraine to go its own way and develop its own legislation, which may be better than the Istanbul Convention.
6. The All-Ukrainian Council of Churches and Religious Organizations calls on the president of Ukraine, government representatives and human rights organizations to engage in a dialogue on joint actions, including with the participation of the religious community, in the field of preventing and countering domestic violence in Ukraine.