OSCE Demands Russia to Stop Deportation of Children and Forced Passportisation of Ukrainians

by Meifan Honcharuk
Monday, May 15, 2023
OSCE Demands Russia to Stop Deportation of Children and Forced Passportisation of Ukrainians

The UK published the "Moscow Mechanism report on deportation of Ukrainian children" and equated deportation with a crime against humanity

On May 4, 2023, 45 countries addressed the OSCE head chairperson-in-office Bujar Osmani with a joint statement based on the ODIHR's Moscow Mechanism report on the deportation of Ukrainian children. 

Vesa Hakkinen, Representative of Finland to the OSCE and Albania, Andorra, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Canada, Georgia, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Moldova, Monaco, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Norway, San Marino, Serbia, Switzerland, Turkey, United Kingdom, The United States and member states of the European Union have expressed concern and outrage at the deportation and detention of Ukrainian children in Russia.

The Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights collected information. It formulated the Moscow Mechanism report on the deportation of Ukrainian children, which clearly shows that the number of children forcibly deported by Russia from Ukraine is in the hundreds of thousands. Quotes:

"Non-consensual evacuations, transfers and prolonged displacement of Ukrainian children constitute violations of International Humanitarian Law, and in certain cases amount to grave breaches of the Geneva Convention IV and war crimes."

"It is common procedure to separate parents and children at filtration points' that have been established by the Russian occupational authorities."

ODIHR "has been able to establish with certainty that by and large the deportation of children cannot be qualified as voluntary."

"The practice of the forcible transfer and/or deportation of Ukrainian children to the temporarily occupied territories and to the territory of the Russian Federation may amount to a crime against humanity."

"Numerous and overlapping violations of the rights of the children deported to the Russian Federation have taken place, including denying their right to identity, their right to family, their right to unite with their family."

"The mission states that far from adhering to its obligation under International Humanitarian Law to facilitate the return of children, Russia creates various obstacles for families seeking to get their children back." 

The 45 participants in the appeal to the OSCE chairperson pledged to represent the interests of Ukrainian children and their parents/guardians, to facilitate their return home, and demand from Russia:

  • Immediately stop the deportation of Ukrainian children to Russia;
  • Provide names and whereabouts of abducted Ukrainian children;
  • Take all possible measures to reunite forcibly displaced/deported children and their biological parents in Ukraine/legal guardians;
  • Immediately stop the forced assignment of Russian citizenship to Ukrainians in the temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine and, in particular, children.

"Russia must return the children of Ukraine, to Ukraine, now," Vesa Hakkinen. 

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