Crisis in Ukraine

The Advocates calls for an immediate stop to the military invasion and until that cessation, respect for international humanitarian law, including the protection of civilians and civilian objects-such as homes, businesses, hospitals, and schools-as guaranteed by the Geneva Conventions and its 1977 Protocol I. UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet states, "This military action clearly violates international law and puts at risk countless civilian lives. It must be immediately halted. The protection of the civilian population must be a priority." In addition, international human rights law applies at all times, during times of both peace and armed conflict. The Advocates calls for all parties to respect the human rights of all, including the right to life, freedom of movement, freedom from torture, and freedom from arbitrary arrest and detention.

The Advocates for Human Rights fears for the safety of our human rights defender colleagues in Ukraine, Russia, and throughout the region. Armed conflict brings human rights violations. Human rights defenders must be free to speak. Civilians must be free from violence. People forced to flee must be given refuge. We are all responsible for creating a world where human rights are a reality, and where all people can live in safety.

In addition, the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court ("ICC") has announced his intention to open an investigation into the situation in UkraineThe Advocates is gathering information from Ukrainians on-the-ground in Ukraine about what they have seen or heard that would fall within the scope of war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide. We will compile their stories and submit a report to the prosecutor for his investigation into the situation in Ukraine. We are grateful to the courageous Ukrainians stepping forward to share their stories. The Advocates will continue to closely follow developments on the ground in Ukraine and adapt our response as the situation evolves. If you have information you would like to share about the situation in Ukraine for The Advocates' report to the ICC, email The Advocates at