Rape used as a weapon of war: Eye on Ukraine-Russian conflict

Many sexual violence crimes have been documented in the past when war of any kind breaks out. In the ongoing Ukraine-Russia conflict cases of rape of women have been reported, and the suspected perpetrators being the soldiers on the ground. This specifically stands out, as accusing Russian soldiers raping and harassing women in Ukraine during the current conflict.

Sexual violence in the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine has been committed by the Russian Armed Forces, with at least 25 rapes occurring in Bucha, Kyiv during its occupation. – United Nations

Pramila Patten, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative working to end rape in war, was speaking at a press conference in the capital, Kyiv. She said, “My promise to you is that international law will not be an empty promise. Today’s documentation will be tomorrow’s prosecution. And I want you to know that your rights don’t end when wars begin”.

These stories of rape and sexual violence seem like inevitable cases when war breaks out in different parts of the world, but the UN is keen on making sure that these occurrences do not become an inevitable affair during conflict.

The UN has also reported that there have been some reports of sexual violence against men and boys and will be keen to have special attention for men and boys affected by sexual violence during the Ukrainian-Russian conflict.

In an effort to mitigate the issue Pramila Patten has spoken to the Office of the Ombudsman for Human Rights, which could establish “hubs” across Ukraine where people can report cases of sexual violence and also receive medical, psychological and other support.

It has been highlighted that there is a need to keep reporting these cases to increase awareness and action against such crimes that occur during war.

It is unfortunate that many cases of rape during times of war have shown that it seems to be used as a weapon of war. Efforts by the UN and other NGOs and affiliate organizations will hopefully change the narrative, and find justice for these victims

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