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Top news

19 June 2019, 14:00

I.Herashchenko calls on Ukraine’s corps diplomatique to internationally limelight Russia-ORDLO’s heavy use of sexual abuse against Ukrainians in seized Donbas and Crimea

(  Press Service of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine )

"Ukrainian diplomats should inform international partners about the use by Russia and the militants of sexual violence in the Donbas as tools of war and torture of Ukrainians," -- Iryna Herashchenko, first vice-speaker

During the morning plenary session of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine on June 19, the first vice-speaker Iryna Herashchenko drew attention to the problem of sexual violence in the Donbas. The politician noted that they mark today the International Day for the Elimination of Sexual Violence in Conflict, which was proclaimed by the resolution of the UN General Assembly of June 19, 2015, in order to attract additional attention to the problem of sexual violence in conflicts.

"Due to the armed aggression of the Russian Federation against Ukraine and the occupation of the Crimea and certain parts of the Donbas, this topic remains relevant for Ukraine keenly.  But we do not know the scale of these crimes, which, among other things, do not have a period of limitation," Iryna Herashchenko stated.

The first vice-speaker noted that a relatively large number of women are not passive observers in Ukraine's struggle for independence.  According to her, the women participate in peace talks, serve in the armed forces and constitute a majority of volunteer groups and organizations that provide assistance to both the military and civilians.

Iryna Herashchenko noted that the reports of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights documented more than thirty episodes of such violence that had occurred during 2014-2017 years astride the demarcation line of the Donbas. Another report asserts that within the period of August-November 2018, there were about forty violations of human rights, including sexual violence in the course of illegal detention.

"We can not even understand the scale of this problem for Ukraine, given that international missions have very limited access to the occupied territories of Ukraine and places of illegal detention of hostages and political prisoners of the Kremlin," said I. Herashchenko, reminding that among those released in 2017 from the occupied Donbas, there were twelve persons, who admitted they had been victims of such crimes.

Iryna Herashchenko informed that she had twice reported on sexual violence and other crimes committed by the Russian Federation and Russia-controlled militants during the open debate at the UN Security Council and the meeting with the Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General on Sexual Violence in Conflict Pramila Patten.  She also noted that information on sexual crimes committed in eastern Ukraine, gathered by Ukrainian human rights champions and volunteers, was posted to UN bodies.

The politician accentuated the need to strengthen criminal liability for ‘sexual offences in conflict’ and stressed the importance of adopting the bill No.9438 "On amendments to certain legislative acts of Ukraine on ensuring harmonization of criminal legislation with international law", dated 20.12.2018.