Vienna, Jun 19 (EFE).- The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) condemned Sunday the use of sexual violence as a weapon of war while urging the international community to support survivors.
“I am shocked by continued reports of sexual violence against women and girls, including rape, torture, trafficking and sexual exploitation occurring in Ukraine and in other conflict areas,” OSCE secretary general Helga Maria Schmid said in a statement to mark the International Day for the Elimination of Sexual Violence in Conflict.
“This violence is completely unacceptable and must stop,” she urged.
Schmid called on the Kremlin to end all hostilities and demanded a “swift and independent” investigation of reports of sexual violence and other suspected crimes.
“Let me make this clear: sexual violence is a real threat to security. It affects victims, their families and their societies. It has a deep and lasting impact – including on the ability of communities to recover when the fighting has stopped,” Schmid warned.
The OSCE chief urged the international community to take a stance and “enhance international support” to survivors of sexual violence.
“Working with civil society, particularly women’s organizations who serve and engage with local communities, is paramount,” she said. EFE