The Deputy Speaker of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine commented on the Vancouver Declaration adopted at the OSCE PA summer session in Canada, as well as the resolutions “Consequences of the russian aggression against Ukraine against women and children”, “Punishment for the deportation of Ukrainian children, ensuring their return and bringing the perpetrators to justice”.

She recalled that the day before, speaking at an international conference in Warsaw, she had addressed the OSCE representatives and members of the Assembly delegations present there and insisted on the adoption of such resolutions.

“The members of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly condemned in the strongest terms the violations of international humanitarian law in Ukraine by the russian federation. In particular, the killing of Ukrainian children as a result of attacks on civilian infrastructure and residential buildings and the forced deportation of more than 19,500 children to russia.

The OSCE PA welcomed the launch of the investigation and the issuance of arrest warrants by the International Criminal Court for russian President putin and the Commissioner for Children’s Rights maria lvova-belova, who are considered to be primarily responsible for the deportations and forced adoption of Ukrainian children,” said Olena Kondratiuk.

The Vice-Speaker of the Parliament of Ukraine highlighted the main points of the OSCE PA resolutions adopted in view of the fact that the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide recognises the forced displacement of children as a determining criterion.

In particular, the Assembly calls on russia to immediately cease the practice of forcible transfer and deportation of children from Ukraine to the temporarily occupied territories and to the russian federation; to guarantee the safe return of deported children to Ukraine; and to immediately transfer all abducted children to the custody of the Ukrainian authorities so that they can return to their families as soon as possible.

The organisation also calls on the russian federation to immediately stop the accelerated issuance of russian passports to deported Ukrainian children and the practice of their “patriotic education”, and to respect the rights of these children to their own identity, true origin and the right to speak Ukrainian.

 In addition, the Government of belarus is called upon to immediately ban the abduction of Ukrainian children through its territory and to return all Ukrainian children currently in belarus to the Ukrainian authorities.

The OSCE PA appeals to all OSCE members to strongly and consistently condemn the crimes of the russian federation against Ukrainian children, to take the necessary steps to execute the arrest warrants issued by the International Criminal Court, to support the criminal punishment of all those responsible for these and other crimes against humanity, war crimes, violations of international humanitarian law and to actively support the ICC in documenting them.

It is also important to appeal to the OSCE participating States to support Ukraine’s efforts to establish the whereabouts of deported children and return them home, to provide all necessary assistance within the framework of interagency activities, including financial and logistical support for the collection and proper verification of data on all children who were forcibly deported from Ukraine to the russian federation.

“We are grateful to the OSCE PA for the decisions taken and the clear recognition and condemnation of russia’s crimes against Ukrainian children. Such international pressure on russia brings the return of abducted Ukrainian children one step closer. It is also necessary to fairly punish all those responsible for their deportation, “re-education” and forced adoption,” the Deputy Chairperson of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine stressed.

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