The interests of children are the priority, and it is the task of us—the international community—to do everything in our power to ensure that every Ukrainian child kidnapped by Russia returns home safely to their family, asserted Zanda Kalniņa‑Lukaševica, Deputy Speaker of the Saeima and Head of the Latvian delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), on Wednesday, 31 January, at the international conference "Kidnapped by Russia" held at the National Library of Latvia.
The Ukrainian government's platform "Children of War" has collected information on more than 19 546 children from the occupied territories of Ukraine who have been displaced or forcibly transferred to Russia or Belarus. Very few children have returned, said Kalnina-Lukaševica.
Forced displacement and abduction of children from conflict zones is a horrific war crime, stressed the Deputy Speaker of the Saeima, calling for all possible efforts to stop the forced displacement of Ukrainian children to Russia, to achieve their safe return and reunification with their families.
PACE calls on national parliaments to recognise the crimes committed by Russia as genocide, said Kalniņa-Lukaševica, urging the international community to work with Ukraine to find and return the missing children.
The Head of the Latvian delegation also called on organisations whose neutral status gives them access to Russia, Belarus, and the occupied territories of Ukraine to help identify the kidnapped Ukrainian children, their whereabouts and to work closely with Ukraine and all countries that could facilitate the return of the children.
Participants of the international conference "Kidnapped by Russia" discussed instruments for holding perpetrators accountable both legally and politically. The conference also aims to raise public awareness about the Russian abduction of Ukrainian children and to garner international support for their safe return home and reunification with their families.
Disclaimer & Copyright: https://www.saeima.lv/en/copyright
Saeima Press Service