ICC to determine whether Russia's abduction of Ukrainian children is genocide – Ukrainian Ombudsman
Ukrainian Parliament Commissioner for Human Rights Dmytro Lubinets says that the International Criminal Court will determine whether the abduction of Ukrainian children by Russia is genocide
The Ombudsman made the statement in an interview with RBC-Ukraine.
"Whether it is genocide or not will be determined during the ICC hearing. We expect it to continue. The process is not as fast as we would all like, but I would like to reassure everyone – the legal component, especially the collection of evidence, cannot be fast. There will definitely be a result," Lubinets said.
The Ombudsman emphasized that the institution has begun to record facts of violations of the rights of Ukrainian children separately.
"We made a separate report on this issue, which was widely distributed among our partners – ombudsmen of the world, international organizations that deal with the protection of human and child rights. We have been doing our job and continue to do it," the Commissioner added.
The issue of child deportation has not been often raised in the international public space. However, in January, even before the warrant was issued to Russian leader Vladimir Putin and Children's Commissioner Maria Lvov-Belova, members of the Council of Europe's General Assembly expressed interest and expressed their readiness to consider the issue at a meeting in April, saying "a separate resolution should be adopted."
"As for Putin. He takes and personally changes two acts. In one, he makes the adoption procedure as easy as possible, which is also a marker of a war crime. The second is that he recognizes all children living in the temporarily occupied territory of Ukraine who are under the age of 14 as "Russians.” This is a direct marker of a war crime, which should be treated as genocide. After all, the forced transfer of children from one ethnic group to another is defined as genocide," the ombudsman said.
Lubinets explains that the return of each child from Russia is a small special operation.
"Sometimes it is not small. It is a very difficult and multilevel work. In some cases, there is assistance from the Russian side, in some cases there is no assistance, but active obstruction of this process. It all depends on the specific situation," summarized the Ombudsman.
Earlier, on March 16, the chairman of the UN International Commission of Inquiry, Erik Møse, stated that there was no evidence of genocide against Ukrainians.
Later, it became known that the UN International Commission of Inquiry would continue its activities in Ukraine and look for evidence of genocide if its mandate is extended. This issue will be decided in early April.
Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said that Russia's most heinous crime is the forced deportation of Ukrainian children, possibly tens of thousands.
Vice Prime Minister of Ukraine Iryna Vereshchuk appealed to Russian Human Rights Commissioner Tatyana Moskalkova and Russian Children's Rights Commissioner Maria Lvova-Belova and asked for lists of Ukrainian orphans in the occupied territories who had been deported to Russia.
On March 1, lawyer of the Regional Center for Human Rights Kateryna Rashevska reported that Russia had deported more than 1.5 million Ukrainian children to its territory since the beginning of its aggression against Ukraine.
Human Rights Ombudsman Dmytro Lubinets said that Russia is trying to solve the main problem - the demographic one - by taking Ukrainians to its most remote regions.