Harjit Sajjan, Canada’s international development minister, indicated that he has directed Canadian ambassadors in Ukraine and neighboring countries to guarantee that women sexually abused by Russian troops receive the required assistance, including access to abortions if desired.

He suggested that pregnant victims of sexual assault who fled Ukraine, where abortion is permitted, to Poland, which largely outlawed abortion last year, might be helped to relocate to another European nation.

“We are aware of some regulations in different European countries,” Sajjan told The Canadian Press. “We are currently speaking with our partners to identify how we can best support these women.” If required, we will relocate them to a country where they can receive suitable treatment.

Sajjan stated that Canada will respect other countries’ laws, but that “our people on the ground” are working on strategies to “respectfully assist women.” Ukrainian women, according to Sajjan, can fly to Canada for medical care and, if necessary, be expedited through the immigration system. According to him, Canadian officials are collaborating with local organizations to assist sexually attacked women.

As part of broader efforts to combat gender-based violence caused by the present conflict, Canada has given rape kits to Ukraine to aid in the collection of evidence against accused Russian army sexual attacks on women and girls.

According to Sajjan, the kits were desired by the war-torn country. They do forensic medical tests on victims of sexual assault and collect evidence to aid in the prosecution of alleged criminals.

Melanie Joly, Canada’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, has declared that ten RCMP officers who are assisting in the collection of evidence of Russian forces committing war crimes will investigate sexual assaults against Ukrainians.

This week, Canada offered an additional $1 million contribution to the international inquiry into alleged sexual crimes committed by Russian military soldiers in Ukraine. According to Joly, Canada would transfer the extra monies to the International Criminal Court to aid in the investigation of alleged sexual assaults on women and crimes against children.

According to Adrien Blanchard, Minister Joly’s spokeswoman, Canada is also aiding the UN Human Rights Council in its investigation into sexual assault in Ukraine.

“Those responsible for these horrible crimes must face justice,” he said. Joly met with Swedish Foreign Minister Ann Linde earlier this month in Ottawa to discuss the necessity to charge Russian military soldiers who commit sexual abuse with war crimes.

Yulia Kovaliv, the Ukrainian ambassador-designate to Canada, told Canadian MPs earlier this month that Russia is using sexual violence against women and children as a weapon of war. Former Attorney General Irwin Cotler convened a panel of thirty-five international law, genocide, and Eastern Europe specialists, who concluded that Russia incited genocide.

According to the legal analysis conducted by the Raoul Wallenberg Centre for Human Rights, Russia breached the 1948 Genocide Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, to which Russia and 151 other nations are a party. Nations that have signed the treaty, according to Cotler, are responsible for preventing such atrocities and holding Russia accountable for its actions.

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