Yesterday, September 15, in the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, the coordinator of the Coalition ‘Justice for Peace in Donbas’ Volodymyr Shcherbachenko presented the preliminary results of the monitoring gender-based violence committed during the armed conflict in eastern Ukraine. The presentation was held at the international forum "Partnership of the parliament, government and civil society to implement the National Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security".
“The monitors of the Coalition estimated that one in four persons detained by pro-Russian militants had been subjected to gender-based violence or witnessed such violence. We have recorded cases of rape of women, including multiple and group rape; threats of rape; torture of pregnant women; retention of women with men in shared cells; coercion to use a toilet in the presence of people of the opposite sex; enforced undressing including in public. The severest forms of violence against men are rape, castration and genital deformity. Human rights activists have also discovered cases of rape of minors and children,"- said Mr. Shcherbachenko.
Sexual abuse was a means of punishment for political views, disobedience, and support of the enemy’s armed forces, as well as for fun and to satisfy one’s sexual desires. Both sides of the conflict practiced gender violence, albeit in significantly different scales.
"We have also faced the fact that the Ukrainian authorities simply do not have relevant statistics on the problems of gender violence. Without an objective picture of such violence the state cannot adequately solve the problem,"- pointed Mr. Shcherbachenko.
He also voiced recommendations to improve the situation with gender-based violence in the Donbas. Experts of the Coalition consider that there should be ensured the effective investigation of gender violence in the East in the first place. It is important to restore people’s trust in the police. The state should develop a generalized system of collecting statistics on gender-based violence. It is crucial to implement state programs for those who suffered gender violence.
The Coalition ‘Justice for Peace in Donbas’ is monitoring the cases of gender-based violence in the Donbas by the aid of the UNDP in Ukraine and the International Renaissance Foundation.
International forum "Partnership of the parliament, government and civil society to implement the National Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security" is organized by the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, IFI ‘Equal Opportunities’, the OSCE, the "UN Women" program, the US Agency for International Development, the National Democratic Institute, the United Nations Population Fund, and the Embassy of Sweden.