Two Ukrainian lawyers visit Canada to report on sexual violence

OTTAWA, ON, May 16, 2023 /CNW/ – Two Ukrainian women lawyers will be visiting Canada at the invitation of Lawyers Without Borders Canada (LWBC). Kateryna Shunevych and Marta Pavlyshyn of the Ukrainian Women Lawyers Association “JurFem” will be in Ottawa from May 17 to 19 and in Quebec City from May 22 to 24 to raise awareness on the impact of sexual violence since the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

The association’s helpline has received 327 calls since its launch in April 2023, many of which relate to sexual violence, including child rape. This initiative, which was implemented in response to the horror caused by the conflict, aims to ensure that these serious human rights violations do not remain unaccounted for.

Since the war began more than a year ago, the two levels of government have responded proactively to Ukraine’s alarm call, putting into action Canada’s Feminist International Assistance Policy and Québec’s International Policy. However, the need to address sexual violence is as great as ever.

Canada and Quebec can help in the fight against impunity and prevent these crimes from happening in the future by supporting Ukrainian civil society.

“The Ukrainian Women Lawyers Association “JurFem” is at the forefront, working tirelessly so that the victims are heard, especially those of sexual violence. JurFem’s visit to Canada is a unique opportunity to assess the situation and ensure that justice is served”, Pascal Paradis, Executive Director of LWBC.

LWBC has been working alongside JurFem for almost a year now. Despite small means, this collaboration alone has allowed to accompany a dozen victims, including cases of conflict-related sexual violence, rape and gender-based discrimination. One person has been formally charged. Much more could be done with better funding and public support. 

The Ukrainian Prosecutor General’s Office says it is investigating 175 cases of sexual violence. These cases will be handled by Ukrainian courts. So will the majority of serious human rights violations committed in Ukraine.


Lawyers Without Borders Canada is a non-governmental international cooperation organization whose mission is to support the implementation of the human rights of vulnerable people by strengthening access to justice and legal representation.

The Ukrainian Women Lawyers Association “JurFem” is one of the first Ukrainian associations of women lawyers. The aim of the organization is to become a platform for the exchange of experience, development and support of women in the legal profession. With the start of full-scale war, JurFem became a place of support for survivors of sexual violence and all kinds of gender discrimination.

SOURCE Lawyers Without Borders Canada

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