Ukraine battle: UN indicators framework to assist survivors of sexual violence

Ukraine battle: UN indicators framework to assist survivors of sexual violence

Pramila Patten, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative working to complete rape in battle, was speaking at a press conference inside the capital, Kyiv.

Standing alongside Olha Stefanishyna, Ukraine’s Deputy Prime Minister for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration, she expressed solidarity with survivors, saying they are not alone.

“My promise to you is that international law will not be an empty promise. Today’s documentation will be tomorrow’s prosecution. And I want you to know that your rights don’t end when wars begin,” she talked.

“Women’s rights don’t end when wars begin. Your bodies are not (a) battlefield and must never be treated as part of the battlefield.”

Interventions and assist

Ms. Patten and Ms. Stefanishyna on Tuesday signed a framework for cooperation that helps the design and provision of priority interventions inside the areas of justice and accountability as a central pillar of deterrence and prevention.

The settlement moreover addresses full-service provision for survivors, along with sexual and reproductive effectively-being suppliers, medical and specialized psychological effectively-being suppliers, approved assistance, and livelihood help.

Responding to a reporter’s question, Ms. Stefanishyna described sexual violence devoted in battle as “one of the most silent types of crime”, underlining the problem of gathering knowledge on precise numbers.

“Today we have started working to gather this information using volunteers, working with medical facilities, and documenting these cases outside the criminal proceedings,” she talked about, speaking by the use of an interpreter.

Ms. Patten added that “we cannot expect to have accurate bookkeeping on an active battlefield,” stressing she does not await laborious data and statistics to behave.

Services for males and boys

Although sexual violence is usually perpetrated in opposition to women and girls, Ms. Patten has moreover obtained evaluations of situations involving males and boys in Ukraine, which the UN has not however verified.

“I am working with the different UN agencies to ensure that there are services adapted to the needs of men and boys because everywhere in many conflict situations, I have observed that there is a lack of services adapted to the needs of men and boys,” she talked about.

Preventing human trafficking

The framework with the Ukrainian authorities moreover covers gender-responsive security sector reform, along with the prevention of conflict-related trafficking, amid rising displacement.

More than 5 million people have fled Ukraine as a result of the battle that began merely over two months prior to now, producing the fastest-growing refugee catastrophe as a result of the Second World War, in keeping with the UN refugee firm, UNHCR.

“It is a fact that conflict does exacerbate vulnerability to trafficking, and human trafficking of Ukrainian women can be a dangerous by-product of this conflict-fuelled refugee crisis,” talked about Ms. Patten, emphasizing the necessary need for mitigation measures.

 UN Photo/Loey Felipe

Pramila Patten, Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Sexual Violence in Conflict, briefs UN Security Council meeting on women and peace and security (file image).

Sparing no effort

The UN official moreover responded to questions on “extremely disturbing” evaluations of Ukrainian women who’ve been raped sooner than being killed.  She has met with the nation’s Prosecutor General and talked about there could also be “solid” forensic proof of such incidents.

“This is very serious, and the United Nations, through this framework of cooperation that we have signed, will not spare any effort to bring perpetrators to justice,” she talked.

Ms. Patten acknowledged that prosecution for situations of sexual violence devoted in battle comes with challenges, stating it is “never easy”.

She reported on her meeting with numerous non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in Ukraine who’ve shared anecdotal evaluations.

“One NGO representative was referring to cases where the perpetrator wore a mask, so identification becomes extremely difficult,” she talked about.

Ms. Patten acknowledged that whatever reports are surfacing, they can only represent the tip of the iceberg,” highlighting the need to present consideration to reporting.

‘Never again’

In this regard, she has moreover held discussions with the Office of the Ombudsman for Human Rights, which could arrange “hubs” all through Ukraine the place people can report situations of sexual violence and likewise acquire medical, psychological, and totally different help.

Having these safe areas obtainable would moreover avert the people, who don’t possess the sufficient skillset required, interviewing victims, which carries the huge hazard of re-traumatization and re-victimizing.

“We have to learn lessons from the other conflicts where this has been the case, with victims interviewed over 10 times, 15 times, with all the inconsistencies in the reports which make their case not tenable in a court of law,” she talked about.

“Every war, we say ‘never again’. I think this time we have to say, ‘never again” and indicate it and take the obligatory movement to offer justice to these victims of sexual violence.”

The world is watching

The mandate of the UN Special Representative was established by the Security Council higher than a decade prior to now, to take care of conflict-related sexual violence as a peace and security problem.

International human regulation makes it clear that even wars have limits, talked about Ms. Patten, and sexual violence is previous the scope of acceptable conduct even inside the midst of combat.

Wartime rape can no longer be dismissed as an inevitable by-product of war. It must be recognized by all parties as a crime that can be prevented and punished,” she talked.

Although deeply concerned about what she has known as “the emboldening effects of impunity”, Ms. Patten talked about it as “critical that all actors and parties know that the world is watching.”



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