In an interview with Reuters on March 17, Ukrainian Presidential Commissioner for Children’s Rights Daria Gerasimchuk described the methods used by Russia to take Ukrainian children to its territories.
According to Gerasimchuk, Russia uses five main means to illegally deport Ukrainian children:
– invites families living in the occupied areas to take their children on vacation to camps for Russian children and does not bring them back within the agreed time;
- takes Ukrainian children from guardianship institutions (boarding schools) in occupied areas;
– separates children from their parents at screening points – places where Ukrainian citizens from areas under Russian occupation are checked and processed before being allowed to enter Russia;
- deprives parental rights with the help of the laws applicable in the occupied territories;
- selects children in cases where they lived with other adults after their parents were killed during the war.
Ukraine’s Minister for the Reintegration of Temporarily Occupied Territories Iryna Vereshchuk has issued a public appeal to Russian officials asking them to provide lists of all Ukrainian orphans and all Ukrainian children whose parents have been deprived of parental rights and who are currently in the occupied Ukrainian territories. or were illegally transferred to Russia.
The appeal was made public on Saturday after the International Criminal Court (ICC) issued an arrest warrant for Russian President Vladimir Putin and Presidential Ombudsman Maria Lvova-Belova.
Earlier on March 17, Ukraine’s Prosecutor General Andriy Kostin said that Ukraine’s prosecutor’s office was investigating cases of deportation of more than 16,000 children from Russian-occupied areas of Donetsk, Luhansk, Kharkiv and Kherson.
“But the real figure could be much higher,” Kostin said on his Facebook page.
So far, Ukraine has successfully returned 308 children, officials say.
A report released in February by the Yale School of Public Health Humanities Research Laboratory as part of the Conflict Observatory program found that Russia had detained at least 6,000 Ukrainian children, and possibly many more, in Crimea and on Russian territory. under Russian control, the main purpose of authorities of the Russian Federation was the political re-education of detained children. The report notes that Yale University researchers identified at least 43 camps and other facilities hosting Ukrainian children who were part of a “large-scale network” run by Moscow.
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