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UN: Ukraine victims of sexual violence lack access to justice

[JURIST] Victims of sexual violence in Ukraine are not being provided with adequate access to justice or services in the country, according to a UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) [official website] report [text, PDF] released Thursday. The report noted in particular that there is a prevailing impunity for cases of sexual violence in the country. As of December, only three criminal cases alleging sexual violence had been undertaken. Furthermore, the mission found that, "the established practice in the investigation and prosecution of sexual violence, environment of fear and intimidation, makes it difficult to bring perpetrators to justice and deters victims from seeking justice." The report indicates that lack of capacity in law enforcement and the legal sector contribute to the inadequate access to justice.

The situation in Ukraine has steadied in recent time, however, people continue to be subject to abuses by both sides of the conflict. In January Ukraine filed a case [JURIST report] in the top UN court claiming Russia is funding terrorism in the region. Monitors in Ukraine have been monitoring rights abuses for year. In December the UN released a report detailing the suffering of citizens [JURIST report] after the breakdown of the Minsk Agreement [PDF]. In August advocacy groups released statements condemning the use [JURIST report] of secret detention facilities by both sides of the conflict.

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