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VSE’s Aleksandra Ivankovic Contributes to UNDP Ukraine Conference

Friday 15 March 2024 16:30

Last week, the conference ‘Restoring the Rights of Victims of Conflict Related Sexual Abuse: An Element of Peace and Global Security’ took place in Kyiv, Ukraine. Organised by the Prosecutor’s General Office of Ukraine and JurFem, this critical event was dedicated to the development of legal mechanisms to allow reparations for victims of sexual violence in armed conflicts.  

During the event, key stakeholders shared knowledge on:  

European and international standards for protecting victims and witnesses of conflict-related sexual violence (CRSV) in criminal proceedings; 

The fitness for purpose of the Ukrainian national legislation to ensure that needs of victims of CRSV are met

The needs for improvement in the availability and quality of services for victims of CRSV and all other victims of war crimes in Ukraine. 

Earlier in 2024, Victim Support Europe finalised work on a report, commissioned by UNDP, to assess the needs of Ukrainian institutions to respond to the growing issues of victims of war crimes, with a particular emphasis on the needs of victims of CRSV. Aleksandra Ivankovic, Deputy Director of Victim Support Europe, represented the main findings of the report to the audience and called for main recommendations to be implemented. In particular, Aleksandra invited the stakeholders to get Ukraine closer to the full implementation of the Victims’ Rights Directive, which is a part of the Ukrainian Stabilisation and Accession Agreement with the EU. In particular, the participants discussed the possibility of ensuring immediate reparations and compensation for victims. Moreover, Aleksandra reminded the audience that victim support is not, and must not, be seen as a project, but as a fundamental societal service that needs to be available to victims – regardless of whether they report the crime or not, and for as long as they need it.

VSE would like to thank UNDP Ukraine for involving us in this fundamental work for which we hope will lead to setting up a comprehensive national victim support framework in the country

Photography by Alexander Karaban.

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