Espreso. Global

Deportation of 19,540 Ukrainian children by Russians officially confirmed - Commissioner for Human Rights

7 December, 2023 Thursday
15:46

The Verkhovna Rada (Ukrainian parliament) Commissioner for Human Rights Dmytro Lubinets said that the deportation of 19,540 Ukrainian children by Russia has been officially confirmed

Lubinets said this during the Freedom or Fear international human rights conference, Ukrinform reports.

"Currently, there are more than 19,540 officially confirmed deported Ukrainian children. If we return one child every day, it will take us 55 years. And this is amid the fact that every day the Russian Federation continues to deport more and more groups of Ukrainian children from the territory of our country," Lubinets said.

According to the ombudsman, despite the small number of means that could help with the return of abducted children, the Ukrainian authorities have many initiatives in this regard and are constantly looking for new ones.

Deportation of Ukrainian children to Russia

In the context of a full-scale invasion, Russia is deporting Ukrainian children en masse from the occupied territories of Ukraine. They are taken to the occupied Crimea, Russia or Belarus, allegedly for rehabilitation or to rest in camps.

On March 17, the International Criminal Court in The Hague issued an arrest warrant for Russian leader Vladimir Putin and Russian Commissioner for Children's Rights Maria Lvova-Belova. They are suspected of forcibly deporting Ukrainian children.

On April 27, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe recognized the deportation of residents of the temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine to Russia as genocide and welcomed the issuance of arrest warrants for Putin and Russian Commissioner for Children's Rights Maria Lvova-Belova by the International Criminal Court.

On the same day, Vladimir Putin signed a decree allowing for the deportation of Ukrainians for refusing to accept Russian passports.

A special report presented by the OSCE on May 4 stated that Russia's forced deportation of Ukrainian children could be recognized as a crime against humanity.

On May 29, Ukrainian Parliament Commissioner for Human Rights Dmytro Lubinets spoke at an informal meeting of the UN Security Council on the issue of Russia's abduction of children from the occupied territories of Ukraine. The Ombudsman said that Russia deliberately changes legislation to make it impossible for Ukrainian children to return home and uses, among other things, the forced change of their citizenship to Russian.

Lubinets also noted that Russia does not provide any data on Ukrainian deported children - it is not even known where they are and in what conditions. He also said that Russians use child labour and militarize Ukrainian children in the temporarily occupied territories.

Ukraine’s Human Rights Ombudsman Dmytro Lubinets says Ukraine has confirmation that the forced deportation of Ukrainian children and prisoners of war took place on the territory of Belarus with the participation of the Belarusian authorities. 

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Reintegration of the Temporarily Occupied Territories Iryna Vereshchuk said that Russia is changing the names and dates of birth of illegally deported children.

In return, the Russian State Duma stated that 700,000 Ukrainian children had been deported to Russia since 2014.

On July 17, the UK government imposed new sanctions against Russians involved in the illegal removal of children from Ukraine. These include the Russian Ministers of Culture and Education.

On August 1, the US State Department called on Russia to stop deporting Ukrainian children from the occupied territories and to return them home.

On August 10, National Resistance Center reported Russian forces took teenagers from the temporarily occupied territories of the Donetsk region to military camps in Russia. The teenagers are being trained there, among other things.

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