Geneva, Mar 29 (EFE).- The United Nations on Tuesday warned of reports claiming Ukrainian child refugees were being transferred to Russia and said that this practice is banned under international law.
“Whilst we haven’t yet been able to independently verify these reports, they are incredibly concerning,” United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) spokesman James Elder told Efe.
“The abduction of children during times of war is one of the six grave violations against children in conflict and is prohibited under international humanitarian law,” he continued.
“UNICEF, together with partners, is working day and night to respond to the humanitarian needs of conflict-affected children in Ukraine and those that cross borders, including efforts to maintain family unity, identify, register and screen for specific vulnerabilities, including children without parental or family care, and facilitate family tracing and reunification,” Elder added.
Some 90% of the 3.9 million Ukrainian refugees that have fled to other countries are women, children and older people.
The UN agency says more than half of the 7.5 million children in Ukraine have been forced to leave their homes as a result of Russia’s invasion.
Ukraine has accused Moscow of forcibly transporting thousands of civilians to areas under Russian control.
Authorities in the besieged city of Mariupol have accused Russian troops of forcibly transferring thousands of residents to Russia, including up to 2,000 children. EFE