20.03.2019

Card on Prevention of Violence among the Military Personnel

We are very thanks Yvette Langenhuizen and the OSCE SMM for translated soldiers cards

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This card is issued as a part of the Project “Empowering women’s civil society organizations to advocate and lobby for anti-discriminatory perspective into the security sector reform” sponsored by the Accountability Fund of Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Kingdom of Netherlands.

The military personnel must not engage in any acts that may cause physical, sexual or psychological insults or anguishes. It’s nether desirable for the military of the Armed Forces of Ukraine to engage in sexual relationships with the civilians residing in the area of the military mission, since such relations are initially based on the unequal situation and undermine credibility of the Armed Forces of Ukraine and discredit professionalism of the military personnel.

A commander shall conduct the respective investigation following each fact of detection of or notification about gender-based violence. If it is established that the actions of a serviceperson constitute essential elements of offence, including gender-based offence, the commander (chief) shall refer the respective files to the state authorities competent to conduct the investigation.

If it is established that gender-based violence does not contain essential elements of offence, a commander shall hold accountable a person in default within the vested powers.

Discrimination refers to a situation when a person and/or a group of persons face restrictions in recognition, enjoyment or exercise of their rights and freedoms in any form as prescribed by law based on their race, skin colour, political, religious and other beliefs, sex, age, disability, ethnic and social origin, nationality, marital and financial status, place of residence, language or other attributes, either real or alleged, unless such restrictions pursue legitimate and reasonable objective that may be attained through proper and necessary methods.

Gender inequality refers to a legal, social and cultural situation with different rights and dignity predetermined for men and women, as demonstrated by unequal access to the rights or exercise thereof, as well as stereotypes of social and cultural roles.

Sexual harassment refers to actions of sexual nature, expressed in words (threats, bullying, catcalling) or physical (touches, slaps) humiliating or insulting the persons involved in subordinate relations.

All the military personnel just like other citizens of Ukraine are legal persons and are bound to abide by the legal norms. While on combat missions, participating in operations, the military personnel are also subject to international law, including the law of armed conflicts and rules for use of force. They serve as foundation for the standards of personal conduct of a member of the military as a citizen.

Discrimination and harassment may also violate the norms of criminal law: any form of discrimination or harassment discredit or undermine confidence, especially in senior personnel of the unit.

A commander (chief) shall prevent and promptly identify any instances of discrimination and violence, including gender-based violence, in other words violence that was caused by gender inequality in the assigned unit.

If a member of the military has information about the fact of a gender-based violence committed by a commander towards subordinate (s), s/he shall inform about that a senior commander (chief). The gender-based violence shall, inter alia, include sexual harassment.