We, the Harvard Law School Advocates for Human Rights (“HLS Advocates”), strongly condemn Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and stand with the Ukrainian people, as well as with the over 6,400 anti-war protesters detained by the Russian government as of today. The invasion is an assault on the sovereign integrity of Ukraine and a violation of international law. As many human rights organizations have highlighted, the invasion and increased shelling of areas around the country has and will likely continue to cause significant human suffering among the people of Ukraine, as well as damage to civilian infrastructure.
We call on the Russian government to end the illegal war in Ukraine immediately, to abide by the key principles of international humanitarian law in the interim, and to take all feasible measures to protect civilians and civilian objects in Ukraine. We also call on Russia to respect freedom of expression and stop silencing the voices critical of the invasion. Finally, we urge the international community to welcome those fleeing violence in Ukraine and to take every opportunity to mitigate the human costs of the conflict.
Finally, it is important to emphasize that we must not limit our solidarity or outrage to the confines of Europe nor fail to recognize the manner in which the suffering of those outside the Western world are too often relegated to the margins of public consciousness. With this in mind, Advocates urges Western media outlets to be mindful of their biases in comparing conflict in Ukraine with other situations of war and occupation.
- Voices of Children helps children affected by the war in Ukraine by providing psychological and psychosocial support;
- Vostok SOS helps civilians evacuate Ukraine, and provides humanitarian aid and psychosocial support in Ukraine;
- This consortium of media organizations is working to help Ukrainian media organizations relocate, set-up offices, and continue their operations from neighboring countries;
- United Help Ukraine sends first aid kits and humanitarian aid to Ukraine.