PACE recognizes deportation of Ukrainian children to Russia as genocide

28.04.2023, 08:47
Ukraine and world
PACE recognizes deportation of Ukrainian children to Russia as genocide - фото 1
The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe has called the deportation and forcible transfer of Ukrainian children by the occupiers to the territory of the Russian Federation “genocide,” and also called on the International Criminal Court to consider the possibility of criminal prosecution of this crime.

That’s according to an Ukrinform.

The corresponding resolution "Deportations and forcible transfers of Ukrainian children and other civilians to Russian Federation or to Ukrainian territories temporarily occupied: create conditions for their safe return, stop these crimes and punish the perpetrators" was adopted during the debate at the PACE’s spring session.

Eighty-seven deputies out of 89 in attendance voted "for", one - "against", and another one - "abstained."

In its document, the Assembly called for "immediate and urgent action to be taken to halt the practices of unlawful forcible transfer and deportation currently being carried out by the Russian Federation against the Ukrainian population, and especially its policy and practices relating to the removal of children from their families and homes and their subsequent absorption into Russian citizenship, identity and culture. The Assembly highlights the need for the recording and monitoring of individual cases, both in order to permit mechanisms for rapid redress, and to collect evidence of accountability in order to bring the perpetrators, at all levels of responsibility, to justice."

"The Assembly calls upon the Russian Federation to: as concerns the particularly urgent situation of Ukrainian children in the hands of the Russian Federation, immediately and unconditionally cease unlawful forcible transfer and deportation of Ukrainian children to the Russian Federation, Belarus or within temporarily occupied Ukrainian territories, halt any adoption procedures underway, stop the imposition of Russian citizenship, re-establish the children’s links with their parents or carers, and repatriate them to their homeland or release them to a safe third country," resolution reads.

PACE also called on Russia to "provide representatives and staff of relevant United Nations bodies and other international human rights and humanitarian mechanisms and organisations, such as the International Committee of the Red Cross, with unhindered, immediate and safe access, provide reliable and comprehensive information about the number and the whereabouts of Ukrainian children, and to ensure their dignified treatment and their safe return."

The resolution states that the practice of unlawful deportation of Ukrainians to the Russian Federation from the temporarily occupied territories of Donetsk and Luhansk regions began even before the full-scale invasion on February 24, 2022, "taking the form of deportation to the Russian Federation of children from orphanages and of children with disabilities from specialised institutions.”

“These practices have intensified and evolved further since that date and are clearly being planned and organised in a systematic way, within the framework of a State policy. They involve all levels of political decision making from the top down and implementation by administrative bodies and State institutions of the Russian Federation, especially as regards the forcible transfer, deportation and indoctrination of Ukrainian children," resolution says.

It indicates that it is difficult to determine the scale and scope of the forcible transfer and deportation of Ukrainian children in view of the ongoing aggression and lack of access to the temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine, as well as “subterfuge on the part of the Russian Federation as to the circumstances of forcible transfers and deportations and the current whereabouts of the victims.”

However, it is recalled that as of mid-April 2023, the Ukrainian government said it had collected reports of more than 19,384 children who were classified as "deported" to the Russian Federation, of which only 361 children returned home. Thus, "there are still many thousands of children and other civilians whose fate must be clarified."

As Ukrinform reported earlier, on March 17, 2023, the International Criminal Court issued an arrest warrant for Russian President Vladimir Putin and Maria Lvova-Belova, Russia’s Commissioner for Children’s Rights, both suspected of illegally deporting children from the occupied territories of Ukraine to Russia since at least February 2022.