Ukraine expects PACE resolution on abducted children
A mural in Bakhmut, March 3, 23 (Photo:REUTERS/Oleksandr Ratushniak)
Ukraine expects a separate resolution by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) regarding the abduction of Ukrainian children by Russia, Deputy Speaker of the Ukrainian parliament Olena Kondratyuk said in a Facebook post on March 21.
“I called on my colleagues to raise the topic of the return of Ukrainian children at every international venue and meeting,” Kondratyuk wrote.
“We are counting on a separate PACE resolution at the spring session … where this issue should be raised.”
Kondratyuk added that Ukraine's efforts are supported by the European Commission, which, together with Poland and the UN, is launching an initiative to search for Ukrainian children.
According to her, despite the repeated appeals by the Ukrainian parliament, the reaction of international organizations – which should prioritize protecting children’s rights, preventing their abduction to Russia, and help with their return to Ukraine – is very weak.
“Primarily, I mean the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), which has this mandate under the Geneva Conventions,” she specified.
Kondratyuk recalled that 16,226 Ukrainian children still remain on Russian territory, some of whom were kidnapped, separated from their families, forcibly adopted, or are in the so-called "education" camps.
The International Criminal Court (ICC) issued arrest warrants for Russian dictator Vladimir Putin and Ombudsman Maria Lvova-Belova on March 17. They are accused of a war crime – deporting thousands of children from Ukraine to Russia since Feb. 24, 2022.
Ukraine's Prosecutor General, Andriy Kostin, stated that Putin could be arrested in the 123 countries that have ratified the Rome Statute, which established the ICC. All EU countries, including Germany, are signatories to the statute.
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