UN Claims Illegal Russian “Adoption” of Ukrainian Children

by Olha Povaliaieva
Thursday, June 17, 2022
UN Claims Illegal Russian “Adoption” of Ukrainian Children

On June 14, a UNICEF representative stated that the Russians forcibly and illegally take Ukrainian children to their country, and there they give them up for "adoption" to Russian families

As of March 21, that is, less than a month from the beginning of the attack on Ukraine, Russia kidnapped 2.389 Ukrainian kids. As of today, at least 22.000 children from the occupied regions are forcibly deported to Russia. 

On June 14, UNICEF's regional director for Europe and Central Asia, Afshan Khan, stated that Ukrainian children stolen to Russia during the war against Ukraine are not eligible for adoption by Russian families.

"We reiterate, including to the Russian Federation, that adoption should not take place during emergencies or immediately after them. Any movement of children should be carried out only in their interests, as well as with the informed, voluntary consent of the parents. Children taken to another country without meeting these conditions cannot be considered orphans. Concerning children sent to Russia, we work closely with authorized representatives for their rights and international organizations to best document such cases," Afshan Khan.

On June 10, the parliament of Ukraine officially appealed to the UN Human Rights Committee, the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, the International Court of Justice in The Hague, and the UN High Commissioner for Refugees. In this appeal, the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine asks for protection for Ukrainian children "abducted and forcibly taken to the Russian Federation, located in the occupied territories, from being adopted by Russian families." The parliament also asks the international community to facilitate the return of Ukrainian children to their homes — to Ukraine.

"In violation of international law, Russia forcibly deported "millions of citizens of Ukraine, among whom there are children, including orphans and children deprived of parental care," the explanatory note to the appeal of the parliament says.

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