Exploring humanitarian alternatives with edible aid drones
Source: Thomson Reuters Foundation
Drones filled with food, water or medicine could be indispensable in humanitarian emergencies by delivering live-saving supplies to remote areas hit by natural disasters or conflict.
Edible drones filled with food, water or medicine could soon become indispensable in humanitarian emergencies
By Magdalena Mis
LONDON, Feb 20 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Edible drones filled with food, water or medicine could soon become indispensable in humanitarian emergencies by delivering live-saving supplies to remote areas hit by natural disasters or conflict, their designers said on Monday.
With 50 kg (110 lb) of food stocked inside its compartments, each drone costing 150 pounds ($187) would be able to deliver enough supplies to feed up to 50 people per day, they said.
The frame of the prototype version of the drone - called Pouncer - is made of wood but the designers are planning to use edible materials in the next version.
"Food can be component to build things," Nigel Gifford, an ex-army catering officer and founder of UK-based Windhorse Aerospace, the company behind the design, told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.
"You fly (the drone) and then eat it," he said in a phone interview.
With up to 40 km (25 miles) reach, the drone can be launched from an aircraft or catapulted from the ground with an accuracy of about 7 metres (23 ft), giving it an advantage over air drops - often used as a last resort in emergencies.
"In combat zones like we have in Aleppo or Mosul nothing will work except what we have," Gifford said.
"With parachuted air drops the problem is you can't guarantee where the loads will land.
"In Aleppo we could have put aid straight into some of the streets and we could have done that out of the sight of ISIS (Islamic State)."
Parts of the 3 metre (10 ft) by 1.5 metre (5 ft) drone, designed by the team behind Facebook's solar-powered internet drone Aquila, can be used as fuel or shelter.
The Windhorse team includes Bruce Dickinson, entrepreneur and lead singer of the heavy metal band Iron Maiden and a former Airbus executive, Andrew Morgan.
Gifford said several humanitarian agencies, including medical charity Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF), International Rescue Committee, Oxfam and the World Health Organization, have already expressed their interest in using the drone.
In December Windhorse presented the Pouncer to Britain's aid minister Priti Patel, hoping to attract help with financing.
"We're waiting to hear back from them," Gifford said.
He said the Pouncer would undergo initial testing in May and should be ready to be deployed on its first mission by the end of the year. ($1 = 0.8020 pounds) (Reporting by Magdalena Mis @magdalenamis1, editing by Ros Russell; Please credit the Thomson Reuters Foundation, the charitable arm of Thomson Reuters, that covers humanitarian news, women's rights, trafficking, property rights, climate change and resilience. Visit http://news.trust.org)
See graphic of aid delivery scenarios for Pouncer drone here
As new Mosul offensive unfolds, sheltering IDPs back in focus
Source: UN High Commissioner for Refugees
It is estimated that up to 250,000 people could be displaced. Almost 217,000 people have fled hostilities since 17 October, of whom around 160,000 are still displaced.
This is a summary of what was said by UNHCR spokesperson – to whom quoted text may be attributed – at today's press briefing at the Palais des Nations in Geneva.
With the new military operations under way in Mosul, UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, is focusing efforts on camp construction to shelter many of those who could be displaced by the renewed fighting.
It’s estimated that up to 250,000 people could be displaced. Almost 217,000 people have fled hostilities since 17 October, of whom around 160,000 are still displaced. Others have returned to their homes in newly-retaken areas. But the situation remains fluid and terrifying for those trapped or affected by the fighting.
UNHCR has eight camps open or completed at present, and one under construction. We are planning for the start of work at another site (Hamam Al Alil), south of Mosul. Currently there is spare capacity in three existing camps to the east of Mosul (Hasansham U3, Khazer M1 and M2), with space for 12,700 more people. An additional 1,000 plots are planned for Khazer M2. There are also spaces for 14,400 people in UNHCR’s newly-built Chamakor camp, where 500 tents have already been pitched.
The Government of Iraq has decided, initially, to transport people displaced from western Mosul to camps in the east while new capacity is being added in the south. UNHCR has been asked to support a new Government site at Hamam Al-Alil, 20 km south of Mosul. It is expected that many of those fleeing western Mosul will reach Hamam Al-Alil on foot. This site will shelter for up to 60,000 people. One camp at the site will be UNHCR built. Another, which has been built by the government, for 24,000 people, will be UNHCR-supported.
With the predicted exodus of up to a quarter of a million people, it will be impossible to accommodate such large numbers on existing land. We have identified other land that could be used as camps once frontlines shift.
Meantime, conditions in the densely-populated west of the city are worsening, according to reports and testimonies, and hence concerns are mounting for the well-being of civilians. There are shortages of food, water, fuel and medicine. Half of all food shops have closed and most people can only access untreated water. Food prices are rocketing and there are reports of families burning furniture, clothing and plastic to stay warm. Conditions will deteriorate if civilians are not able to flee the fighting.
During the battle for eastern Mosul, the protection of civilians was prioritized in military planning and activities, and UNHCR hopes this principle will continue to be upheld. However, the new battle will be different. The city’s west is densely populated, with many narrow streets, and fighting will be street by street. Armed groups have built a network of tunnels.
Insecurity and recent suicide attacks in eastern Mosul have resulted in some families – who had opted to return to their homes – coming back to the camps in search of safety.
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UN raises alarm over fighting on Yemen's west coast limiting access to vital supplies
Source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
Increased fighting along the Western Coast and greater restrictions of life-saving commodities, including food staples, into Al Hudaydah Port are aggravating an already terrible humanitarian situation in Yemen.
Sana'a, 21 February 2017
Sana'a, 21 February 2017 I am deeply concerned with the escalation of conflict and militarization of Yemen’s Western Coast. It is coming at a great cost to civilians.
Increased fighting along the Western Coast which is effectively limiting the flow of life-saving commodities, including food staples, into Al Hudaydah Port is aggravating an already terrible humanitarian situation in Yemen. Over 17 million people are currently unable to adequately feed themselves and are frequently forced to skip meals - women and girls eat the least and last. Seven million Yeminis do not know where their next meal will come from and are ever closer to starvation.
For almost two months, conflict has escalated from the ground, air and sea in the Dhubab and Al Mukha areas in Taizz Governorate. Scores of civilians have been either killed or forced to flee from their homes. Airstrikes have destroyed or damaged critical roads and bridges across Al Hudaydah Governorate. Unexploded rockets have also landed inside the Al Hudaydah Port, reducing even further the number of ships and imports. Only a limited number of shipping companies now use the port, with vessels being forced to redirect their shipments, including humanitarian supplies, to Aden.
Yet, the Aden Port does not have the required capacity or infrastructure to accommodate Yemen’s import demands. Furthermore, the transport of goods from Aden to the rest of the country is not guaranteed given the additional costs, blocked or damaged roads, lack of fuel, and ongoing conflict.
The availability of food in markets and the food pipeline are at imminent risk. We are witnessing food shortages, rising food and fuel prices, disruptions to agricultural production, and plummeting purchasing power, especially brought about by the lack of salary payments in the public sector for over six months. Given that the country is 80-90 per cent dependent on imported food staples; I am compelled to raise the alarm. If left unabated, these factors combined could accelerate the onset of famine.
Humanitarian partners are working hard to prevent the suffering of hundreds of thousands of children from crippling malnutrition, which could stunt a generation if not confronted now. Close to half a million children are prioritized for assistance; a nearly 200 per cent increase since 2014. Yet, despite all the efforts, humanitarians cannot replace a functioning commercial sector.
The inhumanity of using the economy or food as a means to wage war is unacceptable and is against international humanitarian law. I urgently call on all parties to the conflict and on those that have influence over the parties to facilitate the rapid entry of critical life-saving food staples into all Yemeni ports; to refrain from or not contribute to the damage and destruction of critical infrastructure required to transport food staples throughout the country; and to find or support a way to pay public sector salaries so that the needy can purchase what is available.
The best means to prevent famine in Yemen is for weapons to fall silent across the country and for the parties to the conflict to return to the negotiating table. The international community must also assume its responsibility and provide the needed funds to enable a timely and principled humanitarian response. The people of Yemen are counting on it.
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UN emergency fund provides $18.5 million to help respond to new drought in Ethiopia
Source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
The CERF funds will immediately provide water and health, nutritional and agricultural services. The funds will help pastoralist communities in the Somali region, who are most in need.
New York, 21 February 2017 - With the Horn of Africa facing one of the worst droughts in decades, more than 5.6 million people in Ethiopia alone are in desperate need of life’s basic necessities. To provide time-critical aid to more than 785,000 people suffering from hunger, malnutrition and severe water shortages in Ethiopia’s worst-hit Somali region, Emergency Relief Coordinator and Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Stephen O’Brien has released US$18.5 million from the UN’s Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF).
“I was recently in Ethiopia’s Somali Region, where I saw the devastating impact this drought is having on people’s lives, livestock and livelihoods. We must act today,” said Mr. O’Brien. “Time lost means lives lost so I am releasing CERF funding to provide urgent aid to people in need – now – when they need it most.”
The CERF funds will immediately provide affected people with access to water and health, nutritional and agricultural services. The funds will help pastoralist communities in the Somali region, who are most in need, and thousands of whom have been forced to move in search of water and pasture.
The current drought has hit Ethiopia before the country could recover from the effects of a devastating El Niño-induced drought in 2015 and 2016 which left more than 10 million people in urgent need of aid in 2016. While the Government and humanitarian partners implemented a remarkably effective response with generous donor support last year, millions of vulnerable Ethiopians are still facing prolonged drought.
“The CERF grant covers only a small portion of what is required in 2017 to address the rising hunger and malnutrition levels,” said Mr. O’Brien. “Humanitarians will use these funds to save lives, but it is a bridge that must be matched and surpassed urgently. Millions of people’s lives, livelihoods and wellbeing depend on continued donor support.”
Over the past two years, CERF has allocated a total of $47 million to aid operations in Ethiopia.
Around the globe, the ever-increasing scale and intensity of emergencies points to the need for a larger CERF to keep pace with the growing needs. To this end, the UN General Assembly in December 2016 endorsed former Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s recommendation to double CERF’s annual target to $1 billion by 2018. Member States and partners are urged to contribute to the fund so that more lives can be saved.
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National polio immunization campaign launched in Yemen
Source: World Health Organization
A nationwide polio immunization campaign in Yemen, launched by national health authorities with support from WHO and UNICEF, aims to immunize 5,019,648 children under-five.
SANA'A, 20 February 2017—A nationwide polio immunization campaign was launched today in Yemen by national health authorities with support from WHO and UNICEF, aiming to immunize 5 019 648 children under the age of 5.
More than 40 000 health workers are taking part in the 3-day campaign. In addition, religious and local council’s officials, as well as health educators are also mobilizing support for the campaign. High-risk groups, such as internally displaced persons (IDPs) and refugees, will also be reached.
“WHO is working closely with UNICEF and health authorities to keep Yemen polio-free. The threat of virus importation is serious and this campaign aims to curb any possible return of the virus to Yemen,” said Dr Nevio Zagaria, WHO Acting Representative in Yemen.
“WHO and its partners will continue to support the health authorities in increasing the vaccination coverage across Yemen.”
This is the first polio immunization campaign since April 2016. The security situation in Yemen has limited accessibility of many parts of the country, leaving many children at risk of vaccine preventable diseases.
As the nearly 2-year-old armed conflict in Yemen has been posing threats to the Expanded Programme on Immunization (EPI), WHO has supported the programme to keep polio vaccines safe through providing fuel, generators and solar-powered refrigerators to ensure the functionality of vaccine storage as well as cold chain transferring them from the war-torn areas into safer places.
"Despite huge security challenges, WHO is committed to supporting polio immunization campaigns and all activities of the EPI to maintain the polio-free status achieved by the country in 2006" said Dr Zagaria.
World Health Organization
Mobile: +41 793 676 214
More than 65,000 children used in armed conflict released during last 10 years
Source: UN Children's Fund
Country: Central African Republic, Chad, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Nigeria, South Sudan, World, Yemen
Exact data on the number of children recruited are difficult to confirm. UNICEF estimates that tens of thousands under the age of 18 are used in conflicts worldwide.
NEW YORK/PARIS, 21 February 2017 – At least 65,000 children have been released from armed forces and armed groups in the past 10 years, UNICEF said today as leaders from around the world gather in Paris on the anniversary of the Paris Commitments to end the use of children in conflict.
“Ten years ago the world made a commitment to the children of war and matched it with action – action that has helped give 65,000 children a new chance for a better life,” said UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake. “But today’s meeting is not only about looking back at what has been accomplished — but looking forward to the work that remains to be done to support the children of war.”
Exact data on the number of children used and recruited in armed conflict are difficult to confirm because of the unlawful nature of child recruitment. However, UNICEF estimates that tens of thousands of boys and girls under the age of 18 are used in conflicts worldwide:
Since 2013, an estimated 17,000 children have been recruited in South Sudan and up to 10,000 have been recruited in the Central African Republic.
In Nigeria and neighbouring countries, data verified by the United Nations and its partners indicate that nearly 2,000 children were recruited by Boko Haram in 2016 alone.
In Yemen, the UN has documented nearly 1,500 cases of child recruitment since the conflict escalated in March 2015.
The number of countries that have endorsed the Paris Commitments nearly doubled in 10 years, from 58 countries in 2007 to 105 at present, signaling an increasing global commitment to end the use of children in conflict.
Estimates show that of the 65,000 children who have been released in the past 10 years, more than 20,000 were in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, nearly 9,000 in the Central African Republic, and over 1,600 children in Chad.
The Paris International Ministerial Conference on the Protection of Children in Armed Conflicts will look at ways to build on this momentum. These include calling for the unconditional release of all children, without exception, and putting an end to child recruitment; increased resources to help reintegrate and educate children who have been released; and urgent action to protect internally displaced children, child refugees and migrants.
“As long as children are still affected by the fighting, we cannot give up the fight for the children,” Lake said.
Note to editors:
Adopted 10 years ago, the Paris commitments and the Paris principles and guidelines lay out guidance for protecting children from recruitment and use by armed forces or armed groups, and assisting their release and reintegration, with other vulnerable children affected by armed conflict in their communities.
UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere. For more information about UNICEF and its work visit: www.unicef.org
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About 1.4 million children at imminent risk of death as famine looms in four countries
Source: UN Children's Fund
Country: Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan, Yemen
UNICEF is working with partners to provide therapeutic treatment to severely malnourished children in Nigeria, South Sudan, Somalia and Yemen.
NEW YORK/DAKAR/NAIROBI/AMMAN, 21 February 2017 – Almost 1.4 million children are at imminent risk of death from severe acute malnutrition this year, as famine looms in Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan and Yemen, UNICEF said today.
“Time is running out for more than a million children,” said UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake. “We can still save many lives. The severe malnutrition and looming famine are largely man-made. Our common humanity demands faster action. We must not repeat the tragedy of the 2011 famine in the Horn of Africa.”
In northeast Nigeria, the number of children with severe acute malnutrition is expected to reach 450,000 this year in the conflict-affected states of Adamawa, Borno and Yobi. Fews Net, the famine early warning system that monitors food insecurity, said late last year that famine likely occurred in some previously inaccessible areas of Borno states, and that it is likely ongoing, and will continue, in other areas which remain beyond humanitarian reach.
In Somalia, drought conditions are threatening an already fragile population battered by decades of conflict. Almost half the population, or 6.2 million people, are facing acute food insecurity and in need of humanitarian assistance. Some 185,000 children are expected to suffer from severe acute malnutrition this year, however this figure is expected to rise to 270,000 in the next few months.
In South Sudan, a country reeling from conflict, poverty and insecurity, over 270,000 children are severely malnourished. Famine has just recently been declared in parts of Unity State in the northern central part of the country, where 20,000 children live. The total number of food insecure people across the country is expected to rise from 4.9 million to 5.5 million at the height of the lean season in July if nothing is done to curb the severity and spread of the food crisis.
And in Yemen, where a conflict has been raging for the past two years, 462,000 children are currently suffering from severe acute malnutrition – a nearly 200 per cent increase since 2014.
This year, UNICEF is working with partners to provide therapeutic treatment to 220,000 severely malnourished children in Nigeria, over 200,000 severely malnourished children in South Sudan, more than 200,000 severely malnourished children in Somalia, and 320,000 children in Yemen.
UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere.
For more information about UNICEF and its work for children, visit www.unicef.org.
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Nearly 7,000 FARC-EP members ready to lay down arms and transition to civilian life
Source: UN Mission in Colombia
The UN Mission in Colombia is verifying the operation as more former fighters and their families arrive in designated zones on "historic" day for the country's peace process.
Bogotá, Colombia, 19 February 2017 - Around 300 men and women arrived on 18 February at the zone of Agua Bonita, in the department of Caquetá, central Colombia, where the UN Mission will verify the laying down of arms. This movement completes the arrival of around 6,900 FARC-EP men and women, some of them pregnant or with small children, to begin their transition to civilian life.
In the past 19 days they rode cars, buses, boats or walked around 8.700km through 36 routes across the country, accompanied by over 860 women and men from the tripartite Monitoring and Verification Mechanism (MVM)—with the Government, the FARC-EP and coordinated by the UN Mission in Colombia—working in close coordination with the public forces.
One of those newly arrived to the Agua Bonita zone is 10-month old Pancho, whose mother joined the FARC-EP a few years ago. His father is also part of the FARC-EP’s third front and the family will be living together at the camp, for which the Government will provide logistics, and where the UN Mission will have permanent presence to verify the laying down of arms.
“The UN Mission in Colombia and the MVM consider that the FARC-EP’s decision to move into the zones—in spite of the limited logistics in the majority of them—is very positive,” said General Javier Pérez Aquino, head of the UN Mission observers and MVM Coordinator, calling this day “historic”.
“This decision considerably reduces the possibility of armed contact (…) and we also hope that their presence will accelerate the construction works in these camps, creating the appropriate conditions to continue with the process that will lead to their reinsertion into the social, economic and political life,” he added.
Pérez Aquino explained to journalists in the department of Caquetá that in spite of the need to finalize the logistics around the camps, the deadline for the completion of the laying down of arms remains, 180 days after the Final Agreement came into force on 1 December.
At the Bogotá office as well as eight regional and 26 local sites, FARC-EP and Government members work together on a daily basis, verifying the parties’ commitments towards the ceasefire and cessation of hostilities, along with 350 UN Mission observers from 16 countries, most of them from the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States, and also from Great Britain, Norway, Portugal, Spain and Sweden.
Esperanza Fajardo, 45, said she joined the FARC-EP in the 90’s, escaping the killings of left-wing Unión Patriotica political affiliates. Today she works hand in hand with Government and UN Mission counterparts. “We work together to implement the Final Agreement and I feel hopeful that this process will lead to a country with more social justice.”
Her Government counterpart, Mayor Alejandro Cruz, has a huge scar across his chest. “I was injured twice in combat against the FARC-EP,” he explains. “I feel very committed to this process because I want our children and grandchildren to live in a conflict-free country.”
The tripartite Mechanism’s coordinator, General Pérez Aquino, hailed the MVM members’ hard work and commitment to the peace process, accompanying the FARC-EP movement and continuing the ceasefire and cessation of hostilities verification. He added that for this process to be effective other aspects of the Final Agreement need to consolidate, such as the logistical support, security and social and economic conditions that will enable the transition to civilian life and lead to a sustainable peace.
UN rights chief calls for immediate halt to DRC killings
Source: UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights
Country: Democratic Republic of the Congo
Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein urges the Government to take immediate steps to halt widespread human rights violations, including apparent summary executions, by the country’s armed forces.
GENEVA (20 February 2017) - UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein has called on the Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo to take immediate steps to halt widespread human rights violations, including apparent summary executions, by the country’s armed forces.
“There are multiple, credible allegations of massive human rights violations in Kasai, Kasai Central, Kasai Oriental and Lomami provinces, amid a sharp deterioration in security situation there, including people being targeted by soldiers for their alleged affiliation with a local militia,” said Zeid.
“It is time to stop a blunt military response that does nothing to tackle the root causes of the conflict between the Government and local militias but instead targets civilians on the basis of their presumed links to the militias,” the High Commissioner stressed.
“In line with its international human rights obligations, the DRC Government must ensure that its security forces, including the police and the army, respect and protect life and only resort to firearms as a last resort when faced with an imminent threat to life or of serious injury,” Zeid said.
A local militia linked to a customary chief, Kamuina Nsapu, who was killed by the DRC armed forces in August 2016 has been increasingly active in Kasai Central Province, mostly attacking government buildings and churches. The militia also reportedly recruits and uses children.
Horrific video footage emerged over the weekend apparently showing FARDC soldiers shooting repeatedly and without warning at men and women, who purportedly belonged to the Kamiuna Nsapu militia, in Muenza Nsapu village. The alleged troops fired at point blank range at unarmed victims as they lay bleeding on the ground.
The UN peacekeeping mission, MONUSCO, is not in a position to verify the origin and authenticity of the video. However, the DRC Government spokesperson and Minister of Communication Lambert Mende has stated that FARDC officers are under judicial investigation for their behavior during recent fighting in the village.
“The DRC authorities must pursue an independent, impartial, prompt, effective and transparent investigation to shed light on what has been happening and to ensure those responsible are held fully to account for what appears to be use of excessive and disproportionate force, and, in some cases, deadly force,” the High Commissioner stressed.
The UN Joint Human Rights Office (MONUSCO/OHCHR) has been monitoring the Kamuina Nsapu situation closely over several months and has documented a recent flare-up in violence in Kasai Central Province. The Office (UNJHRO) received reports that some 50 people were killed by troops between 6 and 8 February, and a further 101 people were reported killed in confrontations with soldiers between 9 and 13 February. Overall, the UNJHRO has documented the killings of more than 280 individuals since July 2016 in the context of this violence.
The UNJHRO is liaising closely with the judicial authorities, including through sharing the findings of the different missions deployed in the area, to ensure that investigations are opened into reported violations by the FARDC and the militias.
“The DRC has long been afflicted by serious violence but amid a worrying escalation of violence in provinces considered relatively calm, I call again on the Government to redouble its efforts to tackle impunity that feeds further violence and human rights violations,” said the High Commissioner.
“I urge the authorities to put into place a comprehensive peace plan based on dialogue, including finding durable solutions to conflicts with customary chiefs,” Zeid said.
The High Commissioner called on the Human Rights Council and the international community to monitor the security situation in the DRC, including any progress made by the authorities in investigating, prosecuting and punishing these crimes.
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Unspoken pain: Gender-based violence in the conflict zone of Eastern Ukraine
Source: Coalition "Justice for Peace in Donbas"
Due to the harsh social-economic situation in Eastern Ukraine, women are forced to offer sex for survival or in
exchange for protection and they have become especially vulnerable to human trafficking.
Gender-based violence (“GBV”) is a violation of human rights and a form of discrimination against one of the sexes. It includes all acts of violence based on gender which result or may result in physical, sexual, psychological or economic harm or suffering of either males or females. It includes threats to commit such acts of coercion or arbitrary deprivation of liberty, regardless of whether it happens in public or in private life.
GBV is prohibited not only by national law, but also by international human rights law, international criminal law and international humanitarian law. In particular, the Rome Statute recognizes GBV as a crime under international criminal law. Rape, sexual slavery, enforced prostitution, forced pregnancy, enforced sterilization, or any other form of sexual violence of comparable gravity are serious violations of the laws and customs applicable to armed conflicts and can be classified as war crimes. It is acknowledged that the level of GBV is heightened during the armed conflict due to a breakdown of law and order as well as polarization of gender roles. Not surprisingly, the vast majority of GBV cases were recorded during the intense fighting in Eastern Ukraine.
As a result of the legal vacuum created after the outbreak of the conflict, no one was safeguarded from gross human rights violations both on the territories under effective control of the Russian military, mercenaries and illegal armed groups, as well as under the control of Ukrainian army and volunteer battalions.
Motivated by their own vision and understanding of law and order, in an environment of impunity, pro-Russian armed groups which exercise effective control over the situation established their own systems of power relations.
The rule of law was replaced by the rule of force. Even though to a lesser degree, the same concern applies also to territories under governmental control. Hence, in 2014-2015 the level of unlawful violence (including GBV) in the conflict zone was exceptionally high for the region.
During the monitoring of the situation of illegal detention facilities in Eastern Ukraine, we observed that there are facts of different forms of GBV in every 3rd interview. Even though the gravity of violence is appalling, it remains underreported and neglected by the authorities. Noticeably, according to the information provided by the Main Directorate of the National Police in Donetsk region no cases of GBV were documented in regards to the females and males, who were released from illegal detention facilities. Thus, the gender-sensitive conflict analysis conducted by the East-Ukrainian Center for Civic Initiatives and its partners in the frame of work of the Coalition “Justice for Peace in Donbas” aimed at providing a more comprehensive understanding of the conflict, its impact, dynamics and structural problems that need to be addressed.