Strategy for Tackling Violence Against Women and Girls

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 7:13 pm on 21st July 2021.

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Photo of Victoria Atkins Victoria Atkins The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department 7:13 pm, 21st July 2021

May I reassure the hon. Lady? She knows that we have to report to the House each October on our commitments to the Istanbul convention. I am pleased to tell the House that we meet or exceed the expectations of the convention in all but three of the requirements in the convention. Two of the three requirements will be met by the end of this year. We had to pass the extraterritorial jurisdiction measures in the Domestic Abuse Act. That has happened and, with the help of the Scottish Government, they will apply across the United Kingdom. Legislation also needs to be passed in Northern Ireland, and I am told that that will happen by the end of this year. That leaves the support for migrant victims. As the hon. Lady will know, in the Domestic Abuse Act we set out a support for migrant victims scheme, which is due to finish next year, but we take these serious commitments very seriously, unlike other countries. Some other countries do not need to meet the requirements before they ratify, but we do, and I hope and expect, given the commitment in the strategy to ratification, that that is our intention.

We know there are some instances in employment situations where non-disclosure agreements are used legitimately. They must not—I repeat, must not—be used to conceal criminal behaviour, and we want to take this first step with higher education because we are particularly concerned about how some young victims are having to deal with these cases at university.