The organizations listed below express our deepest concern for the ongoing and escalating conflict in Ukraine, and call on governments to guarantee the sexual and reproductive health and rights of all women, adolescents and girls, as well as gender-diverse people, in the context of the refugees crisis affecting the Ukrainian border and its neighboring countries.
Of the 2 million refugees that have fled Ukraine in recent weeks, the majority are women, children and adolescents. Since the invasion began, we have witnessed disturbing reports of how the rights of women, girls, and adolescents’ SRHR are being violated, including women giving birth in bomb shelters with little equipment and in unsafe conditions, while those crossing the border are facing barriers in their access to SRHR services.
We have seen equally disturbing reports of human trafficking and sexual violence against women fleeing the zones under attack, and rampant acts of violence and discrimination against refugees at the border, in particular LGBTI people as well as African and South Asian individuals fleeing Ukraine.
Governments hosting refugees have an obligation to guarantee the sexual and reproductive health and rights of those seeking refuge, and to ensure their unhindered access to free and comprehensive sexual and reproductive health services as well as services for sexual and gender-based violence victims and survivors free from stigma, discrimination and violence, and with full and informed consent. Therefore, the sexual and reproductive health needs from those fleeing Ukraine, most particularly women, girls and gender- diverse people, must be prioritized and their rights must be guaranteed.