During a briefing on July 20 Daria Gerasimchuk, Commissioner of the President of Ukraine for Children’s Rights and Children’s Rehabilitation, announced:
“The Russian authorities are voicing the number of 350,000 children allegedly ‘evacuated’ to Russia. However, no one is going to return these children, so we are talking about forced displacement. As of today, according to the applications received by the National Information Bureau, the figure is 5,100 children. We managed to return 46 children to Ukraine.”
The information on the “evacuees” was confirmed by the head of the Interdepartmental Coordination Headquarters of the Russian Federation for Humanitarian Response – the head of the National Defense Control Center of the Russian Federation, Colonel-General Mikhail Mizintsev, who said that since the beginning of the “special operation” more than 2.2 million people have been evacuated, almost 350 000 of whom are children.
According to Article 49 of the Geneva Convention Relative To The Protection Of Civilian Persons In Time Of War and Article 85 of the Additional Protocol of 1977, it is prohibited, regardless of motives, to carry out forced individual or mass resettlement or deportation of people from the occupied territory to the territory of the occupying state. This rule also applies to children, so the actions of the Russian military to evacuate children from Ukrainian cities are illegal and must be stopped immediately.
On August 1, an information platform “Children of the War” with daily updates on the information about Ukrainian children who suffered during the conflict will launch in Ukraine. It will become the main source of information for citizens who want to help children, journalists and law enforcement agencies.