One in every five women in the European Union fall victim to domestic violence - a figure which the weekend's conference in Calvia found unacceptable and called on European Union governments to invest one per cent of its annual budgets in the fight against the physical abuse of women. The conference drew to a close on Sunday with the 300 experts and lawyers from across the European Union unanimously approving an EU directive, which not only includes all member governments setting aside one per cent of their budgets, but also making them accountable for compensating victims of domestic violence as part of a wide-ranging extension of current laws protecting women's rights. The directive, which is to be put to the European Commission, also includes a recommendation that care centres and “safe houses” be set up across Europe at a ratio of one per three million inhabitants. The overall consensus of opinion was that the directive will be approved by the European Union, as its primary aim is to increase the level of protection for victims of domestic violence, and once approved, experts want to see the directive introduced across Europe. Domestic violence in Spain has claimed the lives of 22 women already this year, but the Calvia conference also brought another of other key issues to the surface. The “trafficking” of women from Eastern and third world countries to the west, where they are lured in to the world of sexual exploitation is another major abuse of women's rights which the “Calvia Declaration” wants to see addressed at a European and international level.

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