The Council of Europe is taking new steps to combat violence against women under a newly ratified convention that comes into force Friday.

Thirteen European states are committing themselves to better fight violence against women following the signature of the so-called "Istanbul Convention."

The convention comes into force on Friday in 11 member states (Turkey, Albania, Italy, Montenegro, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Serbia, Austria, Andorra, Spain and Denmark) and will be joined by France and Sweden in November.

"Violence against women remains one of the most widespread human rights violations which take place every day in Europe", said Nils Muiznieks, Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, in a statement published this week.

The convention obliges governments to take measures to counter domestic violence, forced marriage, stalking and sexual violence.