Ukraine conference puts focus on crimes against children
Lviv, Ukraine, Mar 5 (EFE).- Crimes against children were the focus of the third and final day of the international “United for Justice” conference in Lviv, which is aimed at devising a mechanism to ensure accountability for those guilty of committing alleged war crimes during Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
More than 2,500 investigations into alleged Russian war crimes against children are currently open in Ukraine, first deputy prosecutor general Viktoria Litvinova said on Sunday.
At least 462 children have been killed, 931 have been injured and 13 have become victims of sexual violence in the invasion, said Litvinova, warning true scale of these cases is not yet known.
According to Litvinova, Russia has also deported some 16,000 Ukrainian children to Russia or Russian-controlled territories. She said that ensuring their return is complicated and only 307 of them have come back to Ukraine so far.
The presidential advisor on childrenʼs rights and child rehabilitation, Darya Gerasymchuk, said Russian forces use five different scenarios to deport Ukrainian children.
These include forcibly separating children from their parents during so-called filtration processes — whereby civilians are checked while leaving war-torn areas —, stripping parental rights or relocating children orphaned by war.
Gerasymchuk said that Russia’s actions were planned.
“The Russians do everything to prevent the child from reuniting with the family. They immediately take away their phones and do not allow them to reveal their location. This makes it very difficult to find a child,” she added..
“Our goal is now to stop the forced movement and deportation of children. This requires international assistance”, she underlined.EFE