Statement on condemnations of the Russian Federation’s aggression
March 4, 2022
On 4 March 2022, the UN Human Rights Council adopted the resolution to establish an independent international commission of inquiry to investigate all alleged violations of human rights in the context of the Russian Federation’s aggression against Ukraine. Commission’s mandate is to establish the facts, circumstances and root causes of such violations, and to make recommendations with a view to ensuring accountability. The Council strongly condemned violations of human rights and international humanitarian law by the Russian Federation and called for withdrawal of its troops and Russian-backed armed groups from the entire territory of Ukraine. Only two members of the Human Rights Council voted against the Resolution: the Russian Federation and Eritrea.
During urgent debate on Ukraine preceding the adoption of the resolution, WFUWO’s Main Representative to the UN Geneva Dr Kateryna Bondar presented a statement where WFUWO strongly condemned the Russian Federation’s aggression and the Russian Federation’s actions that amounted to crimes against humanity and war crimes. WFUWO called for respect of the international humanitarian law, accountability of the Russian Federation and, above all, for an end of this aggression.
Several speakers in the debate called to suspend Russia’s Council membership. WFUWO fully supports the position that Russia’s membership should be suspended.
The urgent debate and the adoption of the resolution at the Human Rights Council are accessible at:
Since 2014, the World Federation of Ukrainian Women Organizations regularly has made interventions in the Human Rights Council about the effects of Russian aggression against Ukraine and the violations of human rights in the illegally occupied Crimea and Donbas.
Seven days ago, Russia started a full scale-war against Ukraine in flagrant breach of Ukraine’s territorial integrity and sovereignty and prohibition of use of force in the UN Charter. The people of Ukraine have been subjected to bombing and shelling. Russian forces have targeted residential buildings, hospitals, schools, kindergartens and orphanages. The number of refugees is nearing one million. The situation of women and children is particularly fragile. A large number of women and children have been killed or blessed. Many women and children staying in shelters have been deprived of their basic needs. The gross violations of the right to life, liberty and security have already taken place.
We are particularly concerned about the likely consequences of this brutal aggression on human rights in Ukraine through forced displacement of civilians, disappearances, restrictions of freedom of assembly and expression, persecutions and other human rights violations.
The Russian Federation is committing crimes against humanity and war crimes. Russia must be held accountable for that. We invite the Human Rights Council to call upon the Russian Federation to respect international humanitarian law, to prevent attacks on civilians, residential areas, schools, medical institutions (and personnel), and to call for all those detained to be treated consistently with international human rights law. Above all, please continue to call for an end to Russian aggression.