A Council of Europe committee, which is in Ireland to examine the country's response to combat domestic, sexual and gender-based violence, will meet a number of NGOs today.

The GREVIO committee is tasked with monitoring the implementation of the Istanbul Convention on Violence Against Women.

It will tour the country this week to meet Government bodies, civil society, NGOs, and survivors.

The visit is the first of its kind following Ireland's ratification of the Istanbul Convention in 2019.

Last year, the Government published the Third National Domestic, Sexual and Gender-based Violence Strategy (DSGBV) which is viewed as the most ambitious to date.

Chair of the Irish Observatory on Violence Against Women (IOVAW) Orla O’Connor said the GREVIO visit is occurring at a crucial time.

"2022 was a really difficult year for women, as violence against women in this country is at crisis levels. 2023 is shaping up to be just as bad – with a woman a week killed at the beginning of the year. The Government’s Zero Tolerance Strategy is very positive, but it’s important that it’s properly resourced and implemented now."

The Rape Crisis Centre has expressed concern that a plan for independent monitoring and evaluation mechanisms has not been implemented.

It is calling on GREVIO to assess the need to establish a role, like an Ombudsman for DSGBV to independently monitor and scrutinise the coordination and implementation of policy and practice.