Violence and war crimes against women and children in Ukraine

Women in Black oppose militarism and war.
Russia’s invasion, occupation and war with Ukraine has entered its 6th week. Millions of people, the majority women and children, have become refugees. As with most wars, it is becoming clear that women and children are the innocent victims of violence and war crimes.
Vigilante groups and people traffickers have gathered at borders to procure lone women and
children, under the pretence of providing care and shelter.
Reports of rape and abuse of women are tragically too common. These are war crimes and a
breach of international humanitarian law. A woman from Kyiv reported that on the day the war broke out, the first things she grabbed before leaving were condoms and scissors to use as a weapon to protect herself.

Urgent action
➔ provide human rights groups, such as Human Rights Watch ( ukraine) and the Feminist Workshop Ukraine ( with access to communities in Ukraine and beyond, to gather evidence of these war crimes
➔ call on our own Government to accept that war crimes against women and children are being committed and call on the ICC to open investigations into reports of sexual violence
➔ support, amplify and protect peace activists in Russia and Ukraine
➔the UK must welcome and support all refugees, from Ukraine and other armed conflicts in the world

Further Steps
➔ laws on violence against women and children must be implemented, with more action to prevent and prosecute rape as a war crime
➔ the connections between war, climate destruction and patriarchal violence need to be recognised
➔ public campaigning to prevent future conflicts and end military-industrial profits, arms dealing, nuclear and fossil-fuel dependency
➔ democratic engagement at all levels to limit the opportunities for militarists and nationalists to gain and abuse political power
➔ Russia, the US, the UK, France and other nuclear-armed governments to join the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, and eliminate their entire nuclear arsenals.
➔ the United Nations system and regional organisations need to be reformed and strengthened to work for the elimination of inhumane weapons, promote peace, human rights and justice, and adhere to international humanitarian laws
➔ all of us need to work together for conflict resolution, war prevention, disarmament, the ending of occupations and colonialism, and the building of cooperative relations and real security.

Women in Black hold vigils every Wednesday between 6-7 pm at the Edith Cavell Statue, opposite the door of the
National Portrait Gallery, St.Martin’s Place, London, WC2. Our vigils are silent, women-only and if possible we wear
black. See our website at Contact us at: Twitter: @WIB_London
Donations for leaflets gratefully received. If you are a woman and agree with us, then do come and join us.

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