UN panel demands Russia halt ‘forcible transfer’ of Ukrainian children

A UN committee declared on Thursday that Russia must stop transferring children forcibly from Ukraine, give information about those already taken, and make sure they are sent back home.

Since the conflict broke out in February 2022, Ukraine claims that 20,000 children have been forcibly transported to Russia. Volodymyr Zelensky, the president, referred to the action as “a genocide”. Russia refutes the allegations.

During a routine review of its records last month, the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child, a team of eighteen independent experts, pressed Russia on the deportation claims.

In their conclusions, published Thursday, the experts urged Russia to “put an end to the forcible transfer or deportation of children from occupied Ukrainian territory”.

Russia has said that “placements for evacuated children are arranged, first and foremost, at their request and with their consent”.

Ukrainian refugees crossing the border into Romania at Siret. Freezing temperatures and snow have hit the region in the last few days, making the refugeesÕ journey even harder. Siret, Romania, March 10th, 2022

But committee vice chair Bragi Gudbrandsson told reporters the experts had concluded there was “evidence of forced transfer of children from Ukraine to Russia”.

“We cannot identify the number of these children but we know that they are many,” he said.

The experts demanded that Moscow “provide information about the precise number of children taken from Ukraine and about whereabouts of each child”.

This is needed so “parents or legal representatives can track them, including through identification of such children and registration of their parentage, and ensure that children are returned to their families and communities as soon as possible”.

This article has been posted by a News Hour Correspondent. For queries, please contact through [email protected]
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