Russia to Answer for the Fate of Forcibly Deported Ukrainian Children at UN Committee

Written by Henrik Rothen

Jan.23 - 2024 9:34 AM CET

Russia to Answer for the Fate of Forcibly Deported Ukrainian Children at UN Committee.

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Russia is set to face questions at the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child regarding the fate of thousands of Ukrainian children believed to have been forcibly sent to Russia.

Kyiv estimates this number to be around 20,000. The Russian delegation, led by Deputy Minister of Labour and Social Protection Alexey Vovchenko, will be responding to these inquiries on January 23.

This is reported by UN.

Focus on Family Values and Children's Rights

Vovchenko stated that since 2020, the Russian constitution has been amended to protect the family, motherhood, fatherhood, and children.

The UN committee, composed of 18 independent experts, is conducting a regular review of Russia's record on these matters, with findings expected to be presented on February 8.

Questions on Child Identity and Evacuation

The UN committee is particularly interested in how many children have been evacuated to Russia or within Russian-occupied parts of Ukraine since the full-scale invasion in February 2022.

They are also keen to learn about Moscow's efforts to protect the rights of these children to preserve their identity, including nationality, name, and family relations.

Russia's Response and International Concern

In its response, Russia stated that placements for evacuated children are arranged primarily at their request and with their consent.

However, the total number of affected children remains unspecified. Russia claims that about 2,000 children from Ukrainian residential institutions for orphans and children without parental care were among those affected. Additionally, in the second quarter of 2023, approximately 46,886 Ukrainian children acquired Russian citizenship.

International Criminal Court's Involvement

The International Criminal Court (ICC) issued an arrest warrant against Russian President Vladimir Putin and Russia's presidential commissioner for children's rights, Maria Lvova-Belova, in March 2023. They are accused of the war crime of unlawfully deporting Ukrainian children. Russia, not being a member of the ICC, considers the warrant against Putin as "void."

Other Concerns

The UN committee's list of concerns is extensive and includes issues like discrimination against LGBTQ children. Russia's ban on the "international LGBT movement" and its ultra-conservative social values are also under scrutiny.

The committee will further seek answers on Moscow's actions to ensure children's freedom of association and assembly, and that they are not penalized for participating in demonstrations, especially those against the war in Ukraine.

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