(In)visible crime: Dealing with conflict-related sexual violence in international and national contexts. A case-study of Ukraine

(In)visible crime
01 May 2023 → 31 May 2025
European funding: various
Research disciplines
  • Social sciences
    • Human rights law
human rights
Other information
Project description

Conflict-related sexual violence is a complex phenomenon affecting lives of millions of people around the world, who either became its direct victims or whose communities suffered from its consequences. However, unlike many other international crimes, as of now conflict-related sexual violence did not receive proper recognition at the international level, be it a special international treaty or comprehensive caselaw of international courts and other international bodies. As the war rages at the territory of Ukraine, the question that becomes more and more forefront is whether, considering current international developments, the sexual violence atrocities committed amidst Europe will be properly prosecuted and fairly punished. And if the existing legal instruments are not sufficient enough to do that, whether the Russian-Ukrainian war might constitute a necessary momentum for initiating the substantive changes.

The project is aimed at exploring formal and informal impediments precluding effective response to conflict-related sexual violence at the international level and within the current Ukrainian context. It will be first in its kind comprehensive exploration of Ukrainian experience in dealing with sexual violence related to the Russian-Ukrainian war, applying the top-down (descending from international to the national level) approach. The exploration will be carried out through the desktop research, including critical legal and feminist analysis of the opensource materials and corroborated by the sociolegal qualitative study with the experts and professionals from Ukraine working in the field.

Role of Ghent University
The project is conducted within the Justice Visions team at the Human Rights Center of Ghent University under the mentorship of Prof. Tine Destrooper (Ghent University, Belgium).
Funded by the European Union. Views and opinions expressed are however those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or the European Research Executive Agency (REA). Neither the European Union nor the authority can be held responsible for them.