• Українською
  • Olha Stefanishyna: In one year we have built a comprehensive mechanism for responding to crimes of sexual violence
    Service of the Deputy Prime Minister of Ukraine, posted 05 March 2023 21:30

    Olha Stefanishyna, Deputy Prime Minister for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration of Ukraine, during a meeting with Pramila Patten, UN Secretary-General’s Special Representative on Sexual Violence in Conflict, emphasized that thanks to cooperation of the Government of Ukraine and the UN system, an effective system of response to crimes of sexual violence in war had been built in record time.

    “Since the first days of the full-scale invasion, we have been working to document crimes against Ukrainians. As a key element of immediate response to cases of violence, we have deployed a network of Survivor Assistance Centers. As part of the cooperation program on combating sexual violence between the Government and the UN, signed in May, we have jointly developed a detailed action plan and started implementing it,” the Deputy Prime Minister said.

    Olha Stefanishyna emphasized that some victims would be able to talk about their experiences in 10 or even 20 years. At the same time, the Government has fully functional institutions in place, collects all the necessary information so that victims could testify to law enforcement agencies even many years later and achieve justice.

    Besides, the participants of the meeting agreed on the importance of scaling up the Survivor Assistance Centers. They also emphasized the significance of taking into account the experience of the Centers to analyze the needs and provide even better assistance to victims.

    “We should pay more attention to the Centers. Right now, all the experts are here in Lviv: they are sharing their experience, talking about problems and ways to solve them,” stressed Olha Stefanishyna.

    In turn, Pramila Patten assured of further support for the Government of Ukraine’s efforts to counter and respond to these crimes and achieve justice.

    She also expressed readiness to provide expert support to Ukraine to analyze the gaps in Ukrainian legislation and to improve the regulatory framework for prosecuting crimes of sexual violence.

    “As a Government, we have fully preserved our functionality and ability to carry out reforms within the country. However, we need your expertise at different stages of legislative reform. This is important because it must be comprehensive and take into account all aspects related to sexual violence,” the Deputy Prime Minister emphasized.