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Council of Europe calls for creation of mechanism to bring back Ukrainian children taken to Russia

Monday, 6 March 2023, 17:53

The Council of Europe has stated the need for urgent action to reunite Ukrainian children taken to Russia and Russian-occupied territories with their families.

Source: Dunja Mijatović, Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, following her visit to Ukraine, as reported by European Pravda

Quote: "Russia’s failure to return Ukrainian children separated from their families and legal guardians is a serious violation of their human rights. Concrete mechanisms and solutions must urgently be identified and used to reunite these children with their families," Mijatović said in a statement on the Council of Europe website.


Details: She said that there is also a need for greater clarity on the entities and procedures through which parents, relatives, guardians and children can seek assistance in family reunification.

"This is a matter of the highest priority, and it must be addressed through joint efforts, including international organisations, and the use of all available expertise," Mijatović said

Relevant parties should be provided with unimpeded access to records and information on all Ukrainian children taken to Russia and the territories occupied by Russia in order to identify them and locate their relatives, in full compliance with personal data protection standards.

Furthermore, the Commissioner urges the authorities of all Council of Europe member states to make it a priority to continue and support efforts to trace, locate, and reunite all Ukrainian children separated from their families or legal guardians, on a child rights-based approach and with full respect for the principle of the best interests of the child.

Mijatović also calls on the international community to support and cooperate with reliable organisations and networks of Ukrainian and Russian human rights defenders and civil society involved in facilitating the reunification of unaccompanied Ukrainian children with their families, fully considering the best interests of each child.

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