International Day for the Elimination of Sexual Violence in Conflict was proclaimed by a decision of the United Nations General Assembly in 2015. The date was chosen to commemorate the adoption on 19 June 2008 of Security Council resolution 1820 (2008), in which the Council condemned sexual violence as a tactic of war and an impediment to peacebuilding. The United Nations strongly condemned any sexual and other violence committed in armed conflict and in post-conflict situations, including rape, sexual slavery, forced prostitution, forced pregnancy and sterilization, as well as any other form of sexual violence.
During the armed conflict in Donbass numerous cases of sexual violence by representatives of armed formations and law enforcement agencies of Ukraine against civilians, prisoners of war and political prisoners, including in the so-called “secret prisons”, were recorded. These facts are reflected in reports on the human rights situation in Ukraine, which are prepared by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights. In addition, a special report on sexual violence related to the conflict in Ukraine was prepared by OHCHR for the period from March 14, 2014 to January 31, 2017.
UN officials expressed concern over the lack of proper investigation of most of these incidents and the lack of accountability of the perpetrators. This demonstrates the presence of significant systemic problems and is confirmed by the fact that representatives of Ukraine continue to block the signing of the Declaration Condemning all Forms of Torture, IIl-treatment, Sexual Violence and Threats of Violence Against Persons Detained in Connection with the Conflict at Minsk talks.
During the working meetings of the Humanitarian Subgroup of the Tripartite Contact Group on peaceful settlement in Donbass there were repeated calls from the representative of the Donetsk People’s Republic, DPR Human Rights Ombudsman Daria Morozova for signing this document. “It can be concluded that the use of unlawful practices against persons held in prisons is common in Ukraine, which positions itself as a rule-of-law state,” she summarized in her comment.
The Human Rights Ombudsman in the Donetsk People’s Republic has taken a principled position on the issue of the inadmissibility of the use of unlawful practices as a means of achievement of any goals in the conflict. As part of the established cooperation, information on relevant incidents and offences is provided to international organizations in order to get an objective assessment and facilitate actions aimed at combating, suppressing and preventing such practices on the part of Ukraine.