Today, the UN Security Council held an informal meeting under the Arria formula at the UN Headquarters on the topic: “Responding to the abduction and deportation of children during armed conflict: concrete measures for accountability and prevention”.
The event was moderated by Dmytro Lubinets, Ukrainian Parliament Commissioner for Human Rights, Daria Gerasymchuk, Advisor to the Presidential Commissioner for Children’s Rights and Child Rehabilitation, Ukrainian citizens – victims of crimes in Russia, and Dr. Ezequiel Heffes, Director of the non-governmental coalition of human rights organizations “Watchlist on CAAC”.
In particular, during the event, they discussed the topic of occupied Crimea, where Russia is currently forcibly taking children from the temporarily occupied Zaporizhzhia and Kherson regions.
Mr. Dmytro Lubinets said that Russia has been committing crimes against Ukrainian children since 2014 after the occupation of Crimea.
“More than 1900 children were illegally adopted into Russian families. Due to Russian legislation, the procedure for returning Ukrainian children is almost impossible. Russian authorities have issued a large number of occupation passports to illegally deported Ukrainian children. Russia has also actively implemented a policy of “re-education” of children and imposed a change of identification by renouncing everything Ukrainian.”
Albania’s representative to the UN, Ferit Hoxha, told the audience that Russia has a network of so-called “re-education” camps, which includes more than 40 facilities in the occupied Crimea and Russian Siberia.
During the meeting, the audience was also shown a video with stories of children from the new temporarily occupied territories who were abducted and illegally transferred to Russia. The children told how they were forced to work, starved, locked in basements for any support of Ukraine, and even beaten with sticks until they bruised and battered.
Such events once again demonstrate to the world the true face of Russia, a state that knows only how to terrorize, kidnap and destroy. The aggressor, who so brazenly violates all norms of international humanitarian law, must be stopped on all fronts, and every Ukrainian child must be brought home.