• Українською
  • Together we must break the cycle of impunity for sexual violence, urged Olha Stefanishyna at the UN
    Service of the Deputy Prime Minister of Ukraine, posted 08 March 2023 14:41

    Ukraine stands ready to work together with international partners to break the cycle of impunity for sexual violence crimes. Deputy Prime Minister for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration Olha Stefanishyna stressed this in her address to the participants of a public event on the experience of Ukraine and the UN in responding to and preventing sexual violence on the sidelines of the 67th session of the UN Commission on the Status of Women.

    In particular, the Deputy Prime Minister emphasized the need to impose sanctions on those responsible for crimes of sexual violence in Ukraine.

    "Our joint response must be strong, firm, and categorical. There is no excuse for perpetrators who inflict massive suffering on those who are so defenseless," emphasized Olha Stefanishyna.

    The Deputy Prime Minister noted that conflict-related sexual violence is a war crime that is rarely reported. So far, Ukrainian law enforcement agencies have documented about 170 cases of sexual violence, which reflects only those cases where survivors were willing to testify.

    "In fact, there are many more such crimes, which is also confirmed by our international partners. Victims are mostly ashamed and afraid to report these crimes," the official said.

    Olha Stefanishyna emphasized that the Government was working to ensure that survivors feel supported and that the country was ready to help them return to normal life.

    "Thanks to the Framework Agreement for Cooperation signed last year with the UN Special Representative on Sexual Violence in Conflict, Ukraine became the first country to create a comprehensive coordination mechanism to combat sexual violence," the Deputy Prime Minister said.

    It covers 5 main areas: access to justice and accountability, comprehensive assistance to victims, strengthening the security and defense sector to prevent violence, combating human trafficking, and reparations and compensation.

    "Survivors - their experiences, needs, and concerns - are at the forefront of everything we do," she said.

    The Deputy Prime Minister emphasized that active work was being done together with law enforcement agencies to identify cases of violence so that offenders cannot escape justice.

    The event was also attended by: Pramila Patten, Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General on Sexual Violence in Conflict; Tariq Ahmad, Rt Hon Baron Ahmad of Wimbledon, Minister of State for the Middle East, North Africa, South Asia and United Nations at the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office; Natalia Kanem, Executive Director of UNFPA; Seema Sami Bacchus, UN Women Executive Director, and others.

    The event is organized by the Government of Ukraine in cooperation with the Permanent Mission of Ukraine to the United Nations, the UK Mission to the United Nations, the Permanent Mission of Denmark to the United Nations, the Office of the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General on Sexual Violence in Conflict, the United Nations Population Fund - UNFPA, and UN Women.