The PACE recognized the deportation of Ukrainian children to Russia as genocide

28 April 2023

The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe recognized the deportation and forcible transfer of Ukrainian children to the territory of the Russian Federation as genocide and called on the International Criminal Court to consider the possibility of criminal prosecution for this crime. As Ukrinform reports, the relevant resolution was adopted at the spring session of PACE.

The resolution states that the UN, the Council of Europe, the European Parliament and the OSCE have strongly condemned the practice of violent displacement and deportation of civilians, including children, by the Russian Federation from the territory of Ukraine in recent months and weeks.

“While imposing these practices, the Russian Federation often forces Russian citizenship on them, which also leads to violation of the children’s right to identity and promotes illegal adoptions of Ukrainian children by Russian families. Such practices are prohibited under international humanitarian, human rights and criminal law, and deserve prosecution as war crimes and crimes against humanity. In the case of forcibly transferred children, the crime of genocide has reared its head and must be thoroughly investigated and prosecuted.” the document states.

“The Assembly underscores that the forcible transfer of children from one group to another group, with the intention to destroy, totally or in part, a national, ethnic, racial or religious group is considered as a crime of genocide under Article 2 paragraph (e) of the 1948 Genocide Convention, which matches with the documented evidence of deportation and forcible transfer of Ukrainian children to the Russian Federation or territories temporarily under Russian occupation.” the document reads.

In the document, the Assembly called on the Russian Federation to “immediately and unconditionally stop the illegal forced transfer and deportation of Ukrainian children to the Russian Federation, Belarus or to the temporarily occupied Ukrainian territories, stop any adoption procedures, stop imposing Russian citizenship, reunite them with their families and repatriate them to their homeland or release them to a safe third country.”

At the same time, an amendment by People’s Deputy of Ukraine, Oleksii Honcharenko, was approved, according to which the self-proclaimed president of Belarus, Oleksandr Lukashenka, was recognized as complicit in the genocide.

“Today, there is an important political result in Strasbourg – at the PACE session. A resolution has been adopted, which determines that the deportation of Ukrainian children by Russia contains signs of genocide, – commented the PACE decision, President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy, at the end of the 428th day of the war. “Practically speaking, the decision will significantly help our global work to bring Russia and its officials, including the head of the terrorist state, to account for genocide, genocidal policy against Ukraine.”

We will remind you that on March 17, 2023, the International Criminal Court issued an arrest warrant for the President of the Russian Federation, Vladimir Putin, and the Children’s Ombudsman of the Russian Federation, Maria Lvova-Belova, who are suspected of illegally deporting children from the occupied territories of Ukraine to Russia since at least February 2022.