10 May, 2022

EU must prevent women and girls from suffering at the hands of Russian soldiers and traffickers

Women and girls constitute a majority of the eight million people who have fled Putin's invasion of Ukraine. In a resolution adopted last week by the European Parliament, Renew Europe calls for additional measures to secure the protection of these victims of the war, both within Ukraine and across Europe.

The Group demands that access to sexual reproductive health services (SRHR), particularly emergency contraception and abortion care, are enabled everywhere in the EU as well as in Ukraine, especially for victims of rape.

Renew Europe further condemns the use of sexual violence and rape as weapons of war. EU Member States should establish or reinforce existing support programmes for victims of this violence, and must bring all cases for prosecution to the International Criminal Court to hold the perpetrators accountable.

Firm EU action is also needed to prevent women and children from suffering at the hands of human traffickers. Renew Europe wants an EU anti-trafficking plan, a helpline number free of charge for victims or those at risk and for Europol to conduct awareness campaigns in transit points used by traffickers and refugee reception centres.

Soraya Rodríguez Ramos MEP (Ciudadanos, ES), coordinator in the European Parliament Committee on Gender Equality and Women's rights (FEMM) and shadow rapporteur on this resolution, says:

"Putin's war against Ukraine has caused severe risks and trauma for women and girls, both for the ones still left in the country and for those who managed to leave. I am horrified by the testimonies of sexual violence, exploitation and abuse. The victims of this war, whether within Ukraine or across the EU, must be able to count on our support. This resolution sets out a clear way forward to help them."

Photo credit: Soraya Rodríguez Ramos

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