Combating violence against women and children in Ukraine

Project background

Ensuring the human rights of women and children is an issue of great concern to the Council of Europe and among priority tasks for Ukraine as outlined in the Action Plan for Ukraine (2015-2017). Ukraine faces several challenges in addressing violence against women and effectively protecting children from all forms of violence. Women and children are at particular risk of violence and abuse in the areas affected by the conflict in Ukraine.

Ukraine is a party to the Council of Europe Convention on Protection of Children against Sexual Exploitation and Sexual (Lanzarote Convention) Abuse since 2012. The 1st Implementation Report of the Lanzarote Committee urges Ukraine to amend its legislation in line with the requirements of the Convention, including making sure that the best interest of the child is applied in the investigations and criminal proceedings concerning acts of sexual exploitation and sexual abuse of children. The proposed activities for Ukraine focus on providing support and advice to the national authorities in strengthening the national response to protecting children against all forms of violence and ensuring a co-ordinated and comprehensive approach by the responsible authorities.

Concerning preventing and combating violence against women, Ukraine has recently taken many concrete steps in order to align its national legal and policy framework with the requirements of the Council of Europe Convention on Preventing and Combating Violence Against Women and Domestic Violence (Istanbul Convention). The Council of Europe co-operation in this area will build on the results achieved within the co-operation project which ended in August 2016 and further needs identified by the national authorities with the aim of advancing in the process of ratification of the Istanbul Convention.

Project duration: 9 months (until 31/12/2017)

Objective of the action:

Strengthened protection of women and children in Ukraine against all forms of violence in line with the Council of Europe and international standards.

Expected results on combating of violence against children

National and local authorities, professionals and the civil society are supported to combat violence against children, with focus on sexual violence, in line with the Council of Europe and international standards on child rights:

  1. Decision-makers are able to take an informed decision about future strategic priorities for the development of an integrated national strategy for the protection of children against violence, in particular sexual violence;
  2. Enabling environment and increased knowledge base is established for setting up child-friendly multi-agency response to child sexual abuse in three pilot oblasts in Ukraine;
  3. Professionals in contact with children, notably child victims and witnesses of sexual abuse, have increased technical knowledge and strengthened operational capacities on child-friendly practices;
  4. Increased awareness of the general public and commitment of the civil society to combat child sexual abuse in Ukraine.

Expected results on combating of violence against women

Authorities, professionals and civil society are supported to prevent and combat violence against women in line with the Council of Europe and international standards:

  1. Authorities and professionals are equipped with information on state-of-the-art campaign models and strategies focusing on combating gender-based violence and gender stereotypes;
  2. Law enforcement officials are equipped with practical tools and guidance in order to apply a victim-based approach in investigating and dealing with cases of violence against women;
  3. Judges and prosecutors are trained on violence against women issues and the European standards in this area;
  4. Knowledge of the authorities improved to design and implement effective raise-awareness measures on prevention and combating violence against women.

Authorities and service providers have information on minimum standards with regard to establishing specialised services and shelters for women victims of gender-based violence.

Project partners

National partners:

Ministry of Social Policy of Ukraine
Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine
Ministry of Interior Affairs of Ukraine
Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine
Ministry of Justice of Ukraine
Ministry of Health of Ukraine
Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine and its relevant Committees
General Prosecutor’s Office in Ukraine
Office of the Parliamentary Commissioner for Human Rights (Ombudsperson’s Office) Ukraine
Commissioner of the President of Ukraine on Children’s Rights
National School of Judges
National Academy of Public Prosecution

Project collaborators: