The decree of the President of the Russian Federation to simplify the procedure for obtaining Russian citizenship for Ukrainian orphans or children left without parental care is regarded as attempt by the Kremlin to legalize the illegal displacement of Ukrainian children to the territory of the Russian Federation from Ukraine’s territories temporarily occupied by Russian forces. By his decree, Vladimir Putin has in fact legalized the abduction of children from Ukraine.
Russia's actions grossly violate the IV Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, 1949, which obliges the occupying power not to change the civil status of children, and the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, 1989. Under international law, Russia's actions can also be qualified as the forcible transfer of children from one human group to another.
Since the beginning of the large-scale invasion of Ukraine, Russian invaders have forcibly displaced hundreds of thousands of Ukrainian citizens, including children. We call on the international community to take decisive action against Moscow, in particular to increase sanctions pressure to force it to end its aggression against Ukraine, as well as gross violations of international law.
The most serious international crimes against children committed by Russian high-ranking officials and servicemen in Ukraine will be investigated and the perpetrators will be brought to justice. Russia will not be able to avoid the strictest responsibility.
Ukraine will take all possible measures, in particular at the international level, to ensure the protection of the rights and interests of abducted Ukrainian children and their safe return to Ukraine.