Marija Pejčinović Burić’s Statement for International Women’s Day
International Justice and Human Rights Researcher,
Global Human Rights Defence.
The Secretary General of the Council of Europe, Marija Pejčinović Burić, made a statement ahead of International Women’s Day on the 7th of March 2022. Mrs. Burić’s statement made direct reference to the ongoing war in Ukraine and the 1.7 million refugees who have fled the country to other Member States, such as Poland. During her statement, Marija Pejčinović Burić demanded that an agreement be found for a “viable humanitarian corridor” in order to allow for the “safe passage of thousands of displaced persons fleeing death and destruction - most of them women and children”.
The Secretary General acknowledged that Ukraine was in a state of war due to Russia’s unlawful invasion of Ukrainian territory and that such a situation brought greater hardship on women and children. Mrs. Burić stated the following:
“We face the sombre fact that war is always associated with distinct forms of violence against women and girls. As they try to escape conflicts, women and girls become even more vulnerable, threatened by violence, sexual assault, and rape. Women and girls fleeing the conflict require specific support and protection”.
Marija Pejčinović Burić emphasised that both the 1951 Convention on the Status of Refugees and the Council of Europe’s 2011 Convention on Preventing and Combating Violence Against Women and Domestic Violence, also known as the Istanbul Convention, allow for a gender-sensitive procedure for asylum seekers. Mrs. Burić gave her full support, alongside the Council of Europe, to the people of Ukraine and “once again call[ed] on the Russian Federation to stop its aggression and return to the path of diplomacy”.
Sources and further reading:
Council of Europe. (2022, March 7). Statement by Council of Europe Secretary General Marija Pejčinović Burić Ahead of International Women’s Day 8 March. Newsroom Council of Europe. Retrieved March 8, 2022, from https://www.coe.int/en/web/portal/-/war-in-ukraine-protecting-women-and-girls
United Nations. (2022, March 7). First Person: Giving Birth During the Ukraine Crisis. UN News. Retrieved March 8, 2022, from https://news.un.org/en/story/2022/03/1113472