UK statement to the OSCE on rising reports of gender-based violence in Putin’s illegal war in Ukraine

At OSCE’s Human Dimensions conference, Eli Craig expressed the UK’s great concern about the increasing number of gender-based violence in Putin’s illegal war in Ukraine.

Thank you, Coordinator.

global estimates show that 3 in 1 women Will experience physical and/or sexual violence in their lifetime. Violence affects women and girls everywhere.

Gender equality and fighting all forms of violence against women and girls are critical to OSCE’s broader concept of security and sustainability and the UK appreciates the work of the OSCE Executive Framework in implementing the Women, Peace and Security agenda.

I would like to highlight the usefulness and value of two OSCE sponsored toolkits. First, the toolkit for “Women’s Inclusion and Effective Peace Processes”, a valuable resource for conflict mediation in all OSCE conflicts. and another thing, Gender and Safety Toolkitwhich provides practical policy and programmatic guidance to governments for regional and international organizations and institutions of justice.

I would like to thank everyone who has contributed to advancing the gender equality and women, peace and security agenda at OSCE.

We know that violence against women and girls escalates extensively and seriously in conflict and crisis, and it has been seen in the damaging effect that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine had on women and girls.

We welcome the publication of the OSCE’s Moscow Mechanism Report, which helps uncover the truth of Putin’s illegal war in Ukraine. We are deeply concerned about the increasing reports of gender-based violence, including horrific acts of sexual violence, with most cases committed in areas controlled by the Russian Armed Forces.

In April, the UK launched the Murad Code, a code of conduct that supports survivors’ rights, to document the experiences of survivors of conflict-related sexual violence. We are now urging governments, national authorities, international organizations and civil society to commit to adopting a survivor-centred approach to such documentation – in line with the standards set out in the Code.

In November the UK is hosting an ambitious international conference that marks 10 years since the launch of the Stop Sexual Violence in Conflict Initiative. We will use it to strengthen global action and deliver real change for survivors.

Convener Sir, we know that violence against women and children is preventable. Britain stands by its commitment to working towards a future for women and children free from discrimination and violence.

Rigorous assessment has shown that harmful attitudes and norms can change in less than three years – it doesn’t take generations.


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