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Framework on cooperation between the Government of Ukraine and the UN on prevention and response to conflict-related sexual violence, May 2022

Govt. Ukraine
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This Framework of Cooperation builds upon the engagement between the Government of Ukraine and the United Nations Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Sexual Violence in Conflict to prevent and respond to conflict-related sexual violence, as well as Ukraine’s National Action Plan (NAP) for security Council resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security. The NAP, covering the period from 2020 to 2025, specifically outlines measures to prevent and respond to conflict-related sexual violence. The Framework aims to enhance protection and response to conflict-related sexual violence particularly in the context of military operations by Russian Forces in Ukraine.

The Framework is based upon relevant Security Council resolutions, namely, 1820 (2008), 1888 (2009), 1960 (2010), 2106 (2013), 2331 (2016) and 2467 (2019). These resolutions outline, inter alia, concrete and timebound commitments by parties to conflict to prevent and address conflict-related sexual violence as well as measures related to trafficking in persons in the context of armed conflict.

The term conflict-related sexual violence refers to rape, sexual slavery, forced prostitution, forced pregnancy, forced abortion, enforced sterilization, forced marriage and any other form of sexual violence of comparable gravity perpetrated against women, men, gitls or boys that is directly or indirectly linked to a conflict. The term also encompasses trafficking in persons for the purpose of sexual violence and/or exploitation, when committed in the context of conflict.

Under this Framework, both parties seek to strengthen partnership through joint actions and programmes to prevent and respond to conflict-related sexual violence, and strengthen survivor-centered responses by supporting and reinforcing national mechanisms and institutions.

This includes:

I. Supporting the development and/or strengthening of national policies and programmes on prevention and response to conflict-related sexual violence to enhance protection;

II. Putting in place risk mitigation measures against conflict-related trafficking in persons for the purposes of sexual exploitation/prostitution, as well as other forms of trafficking that may involve sexual violence (sexual exploitation in online pornography, labour trafficking, forced marriage, exploitation in criminal activities), including awareness-raising of military personnel, Border Guards,
Police and immigration officials, in line with Security Council resolution 2331 (2016);

Il. Strengthening the protection of internally displaced persons from sexual violence including through the adoption of measures to protect civilians, especially women, children and representatives of vulnerable groups in centers hosting IDPs, including access to income-generation opportunities and education;

IV. Enhancing the protection, within existing international frameworks, of all civilians forced to flee abroad, providing assistance to all such victims of violence, especially women and children to settle, adapt, access the labour market and education, and receive access to holistic services including medical services, psychosocial support and legal aid;

V. Enhancing protection from sexual violence in formal and informal detention settings of male and female prisoners of war and all persons deprived of their liberty, in line with relevant norms of international humanitarian law including customary international humanitarian law;

VI. Strengthening national health and social services systems to ensure the access of survivors of sexual violence, as well as their children, family members and other witnesses to unimpeded, timely and survivor-centered services, including as may be necessary, sexual and reproductive health, psychosocial, legal, socioeconomic services, sufficient and expeditious provision of relief and reintegration support;

VI. Strengthening rule of law and accountability for sexual violence crimes through support to the justice sector, including legislative reform to address all forms of conflict-related sexual violence in line with international norms and standards; capacity-building of relevant justice sector actors including training of investigators, prosecutors, judges, police officers and other law enforcement personnel; and, the design of reparations programmes for victims;

VII. Establishing the Monitoring, Analysis and Reporting Arrangements on conflict-related sexual violence as outlined in paragraph 8 of Security Council Resolution 1960 (2010) to ensure the systematic gathering of accurate reliable and objective information on conflict-related sexual violence, including the documentation of particular crimes, to ensure timely action to prevent and respond to this crime;

IX. Facilitating evidence-gathering and case preparation for complaints of victims before any national or international tribunal, as well as for state and non-governmental organizations’ complaints or applications on behalf of victims, and for any national and international prosecution of perpetrators of conflict-related sexual violence;

X. Ensuring the monitoring and reporting of sexual violence in the framework of cessation of hostilities agreements and/or ceasefire agreements, and ensuring that sexual violence is reflected in specific provisions of any peace agreements, including those related to security arrangements and transitional justice mechanisms; and ensuring that perpetrators of sexual violence crimes are excluded from amnesty provisions;

XI. Strengthening the capacity of the security and defense sector to prevent sexual violence through specific action plans by the military, police, border guards and other government security and defense forces including the development/reinforcement of ‘zero-tolerance policies’ for sexual violence; issuance of Command Orders prohibiting such crimes and establishment of related enforcement and disciplinary procedures; and training of the military personnel at all levels including military justice officials as outlined in paragraph 10 of Security Council resolutions 2106 and paragraphs 1 and 2 of resolution 2467;

XII Engaging and supporting civil society organizations, including those working on women’s rights, child rights and other human rights issues, youth, and women human rights defenders in preventing and responding to sexual violence including facilitating the return and reintegration of survivors and their children;

XIII. Engaging other critical stakeholders such as local authorities, community leaders, private sector institutions and organizations as well as mass media and journalists to alleviate stigma, enhance protection and strengthen services and livelihood support for survivors of sexual violence and their families and communities and promote their healing through safe environments;

XIV. Raising awareness of the remedies and protection the victims and other protected persons enjoy under the initiatives foreseen by this Framework of Cooperation, as well as of other protection available to them;

XV. Raising global awareness of the plight and needs of all victims of conflict-related sexual violence in Ukraine as well as victims of trafficking across borders;

XVI. _Elaborating further areas of cooperation as deemed necessary to enhance prevention and response to sexual violence.

The United Nations, through the Office of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Sexual Violence in Conflict (including the United Nations Team of Experts on the Rule of Law and Sexual Violence in Conflict established pursuant to Security Council resolution 1888 (2009) and the inter-agency network United Nations Action Against Sexual Violence in Conflict); as well as the United Nations Country Team in Ukraine, will continue to support efforts of the Government of Ukraine to update National Action Plan (NAP) for Security Council resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security on the basis of the priorities outlined in this Framework of Cooperation.

The international community and donors are encouraged to provide financial and technical support to the Government of Ukraine to implement updated National Action Plan (NAP) for Security Council resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security on the basis of priorities outlined in this Framework of Cooperation. Both the Government of Ukraine and relevant United Nations actors will advocate with donors for the required resources and consider the development of a joint resource mobilization strategy in this regard.