Espreso. Global

US joins International Coalition for Return of Ukrainian Children

8 March, 2024 Friday
10:45

USA joins coalition for safe return of Ukrainian children, unlawfully deported or handed over by Russia

The US State Department reported the information.

The United States also confirms its support for the 'Joint Declaration on the Establishment of the International Coalition for the Return of Ukrainian Children,' previously issued by Canada and Ukraine.

“We note the report of the UN Secretary-General “Children and Armed Conflict” A/77/895–S/2023/363, in which Russia’s armed forces and affiliated armed groups are included in the list of parties committing grave violations against children in armed conflict. We also note that the immediate release and return of all unlawfully detained, forcibly transferred and illegally deported civilians, including children, have been repeatedly emphasized in the documents of the United Nations, particularly in the UN General Assembly resolution A/RES/ES-11/6 “Principles of the Charter of the United Nations underlying a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in Ukraine,” the text says.

The United States has stated its common adherence to the following principles:

  • The high importance and priority of ensuring the best interests of a child, and the protection of children’s rights and freedoms, consistent with international law as applicable, in the context of the Russian Federation’s armed aggression;
  • International humanitarian law and human rights law must be respected in the context of the Russian Federation’s war of aggression against Ukraine, including by addressing the illegal deportation and forced transfer of Ukrainian children by the Russian Federation;
  • The importance of adherence to international law, including the Charter of the United Nations, the Geneva Conventions and Additional Protocols thereto, and the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child and Optional Protocols, among others, as applicable.

Existing members of the International Coalition are engaged in supporting a just outcome of the situation of illegally deported and forcibly transferred Ukrainian children, including in the following ways:

  • Expressing support for the principles of point 4 of the Peace Formula of President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy and the Action Plan “Bring Kids Back UA”, as well as the continuation of the fruitful consultations of national security and foreign policy advisors that took place in Copenhagen, Jeddah, and Malta in the year 2023 and in Davos in January of 2024;
  • Exerting all possible efforts to return Ukrainian children, in accordance with international best practices, who have been illegally deported or forcibly transferred by the Russian Federation and supporting the process of their reintegration and reunification with families or placement in family-based care settings, consistent with the best interests of the child;
  • Facilitating the delivery of all necessary humanitarian, medical, and psychological assistance to children and their families affected by the illegal deportation and forced transfer by the Russian Federation, with the aim of their reintegration, and the restoration of their well-being, health, and welfare;
  • Supporting efforts to bring those responsible for organizing the illegal deportation and forcible transfer of Ukrainian children to justice consistent with international law.

Deportation of Ukrainian children to Russia: what is known

In the midst of Russia's full-scale invasion, Ukraine's children are being mass deported from the occupied territories. They are being transported to the occupied Crimea, Russia, or Belarus under the pretext of health retreats or holiday camps.

On May 13, 2023, during a briefing in Rome with Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy stated that over 19,300 children had been deported by the Russians. On May 29, during an informal meeting of the UN Security Council on Russia's abduction of children from the occupied territories of Ukraine, Ukrainian Human Rights Commissioner Dmytro Lubinets revealed that Russia deliberately changes legislation to prevent the return of Ukrainian children to their homeland, including forcibly changing their citizenship to Russian.

Lubinets also noted that Russia provides no information about deported Ukrainian children - it's unknown even where they are located and under what conditions.

On June 8, the U.S. Senate Committee endorsed a resolution condemning Russia's abduction of Ukrainian children and labeling the actions of the occupiers as genocide. Later, evidence emerged implicating Belarus in the deportation of Ukrainian children. On June 27, the Belarusian opposition handed evidence of involvement in war crimes by the self-proclaimed leader of Belarus, Alexander Lukashenko, and his circle to the International Criminal Court.

German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock called on UN countries to unite efforts and compel Russia to return Ukrainian children to their parents, taken against their will to Russia during the war in Ukraine.

On July 29, the British Ambassador to Ukraine, Melinda Simmons, stated that Russians are abducting Ukrainian children with the aim of eradicating the next generation of defenders of Ukraine. Around the same time, Russian Children's Rights Commissioner Maria Lvova-Belova claimed that since the start of Russia's full-scale invasion, Russia has 'accepted' around 4.8 million residents of Ukraine, including over 700,000 children.

On November 23, the BBC reported that Sergei Mironov, the leader of the political party 'A Just Russia,' had adopted a 10-month-old girl who was kidnapped from a children's home in Kherson region.

On December 7, 2023, Lubinets announced that the deportation of 19,540 Ukrainian children by Russia had been officially confirmed.

On January 25, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) called on the parliaments of EU countries to recognize the deportation of Ukrainian children to Russia as a war crime.

Tags:
Read also:
  • News
2024, Sunday
21 April
20:16
Ukrainian Defense Forces foil 2 Kh-59 guided missiles, repel 50 Russian attacks in six sectors
19:40
OPINION
Revolutionary step. Denmark to finance Ukrainian weapons production
19:21
Germany seeks additional air defense for Ukraine
19:01
Exclusive
U.S. aid to Ukraine: General predicts immediate impact on course of war
18:22
Updated
Ukrainian Navy damages Russian rescue ship Kommuna in Sevastopol
17:40
Russia attacks Odesa region's port area with ballistic missiles
17:06
German regions no longer want to accept Ukrainian refugees
16:18
Russia attacks Ukrayinsk, Donetsk region with Smerch missiles, killing one and injuring four
15:46
No Russian presence in Chasiv Yar – Ukrainian Armed Forces
15:07
Exclusive
Mayor of Russian-held Nova Kakhovka reveals harsh reality of life under occupation
14:39
How much of the $61 billion U.S. aid package will directly arm Ukraine?
14:06
Russian troops use Avdiivka tactics near Chasiv Yar – British Intelligence
13:33
Exclusive
Does Ukraine need F-16s at this stage of war? Aviation expert Dolintse explains
12:58
Ukraine's environment suffers UAH 2.4 trillion in damage due to Russian aggression
12:20
Bakhmut sector: Weather favors active Russian assaults with armored vehicles
11:45
Russia will escalate attacks ahead of U.S. aid to Ukraine, warns ISW
11:15
New Ukraine aid package will contribute to U.S. security – Pentagon chief
2024, Saturday
20 April
20:35
Ukrainian army repels 25 Russian attacks in Bakhmut sector over last day
20:11
Ukraine receives L-39 attack aircraft from Lithuania
19:44
Latvian citizen detained on charges of planning sabotage in Ukraine - media
19:19
Exclusive
Russian opposition is waiting for Ukraine's victory to start acting - MP Mezentseva
18:55
Ukraine is interested in Brazil's active participation in first Global Peace Summit - Zelenskyy
18:30
OPINION
Destroying Russian refineries is best sanctions policy
18:02
West has 'double standards' on air defense for Ukraine, says Zelenskyy
17:37
It will come with threats, tanks: Podolyak on inviting Russia to Normandy landings anniversary
17:12
Ukrainian forces kill Russian war correspondent Yeromin
16:48
Exclusive
Offensive planned by Russia for May-June has begun - Ukrainian major
16:25
OPINION
United States should be faced with choice
16:02
Countries close to Russia doubt expediency of war in Ukraine - Scholz
15:39
Exclusive
How relatives search for missing soldiers in Ukraine
15:14
Exclusive
Political analyst Musienko assesses Lavrov's statements on negotiations
14:56
Updated
Russia attacks Kharkiv region with bomb, killing and injuring civilians
14:48
Russia forcibly deports Ukrainians from Dnipro coast in occupied Kherson region
14:25
UK intelligence analyzes downing of Russian Tu-22M3 strategic bomber
14:02
Review
Russia's attempts to advance in Donetsk, Zaporizhzhia regions. Weekly military results by Serhiy Zgurets
13:19
Exclusive
Military comments on statements about Ukrainian army's counteroffensive in 2025
12:55
Russia's war in Ukraine kills at least 545 children, injures 1,298 more
12:34
Updated
Ukrainian special services attack facilities in 8 Russian regions, damaging energy sector
12:27
Updated
Russia loses 8 tanks, 20 artillery systems, 750 soldiers per day - General Staff
12:00
French mercenaries killed in Sloviansk: new Russian fake
More news