Combatting or enabling domestic violence? Evaluating the residence rights of migrant victims of domestic violence in Europe
The treatment of third-country nationals (TCNs) under EU law falls far short of the EU's commitments to eliminate gender inequality and to ‘combat all kinds of domestic violence’. Not only does Article 13(2)(c) of the EU Citizens’ Directive, as interpreted by the CJEU in Secretary of State for the Home Department v NA, fail to ‘safeguard’ the rights of TCNs, it may also enable domestic violence. When presented with an opportunity to remedy its disadvantageous treatment of TCNs by fully ratifying the Council of Europe Convention on Preventing and Combatting Violence Against Women and Domestic Violence (the Istanbul Convention), the Council of the EU chose instead to pursue a selective and partial ratification which leaves TCN victims without recourse to the very provisions designed to assist them. The European Parliament stated that it ‘regrets’ this approach, recommending instead ‘a broad EU accession … without any limitations’. This article's analysis of the EU Citizens’ Directive and Istanbul Convention supports this recommendation.