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The UN opposed the adoption of Ukrainian children in Russia

June 15, 2022, 21:45 270 Author: Oleg Sokolenko dw.com UNICEF reminded that the decision to adopt should be made in the best interests of the child and only with his voluntary consent.

A Ukrainian child plays with a ball at a refugee reception center in Zaporozhye.

Ukrainian children taken to Russia after the start of the armed aggression of the Russian Federation against Ukraine should not be adopted by Russian families. This was announced on Tuesday, June 14, by Afshan Khan, UNICEF Regional Director for Europe and Central Asia and Special Coordinator for the Refugee and Migrant Crisis in Europe.

"We reiterate, including to the Russian Federation, that adoption should not take place during emergencies or immediately after them," Ms Khan said. She recalled that any movement of children should be carried out only in their interests, as well as with the informed voluntary consent of the parents. Children taken to another country without meeting these conditions cannot be considered orphans.

"With regard to children sent to Russia, we are working closely with authorized representatives for their rights and international organizations to best document such cases," the UNICEF regional coordinator emphasized.

Rada asks UN to help return Ukrainian children from Russia

On June 10, the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine registered a draft resolution on an appeal to the UN Committee on Human Rights, the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, the International Court of Justice in The Hague and the UN High Commissioner for Refugees. In this appeal, the deputies ask to protect Ukrainian children "abducted and forcibly taken" to the Russian Federation, or located in the occupied territories, from adoption by Russian families. The Rada also asks international organizations to help return these children to Ukraine.

In violation of international law, Russia forcibly deported "millions of citizens of Ukraine, among whom there are children, including orphans and children deprived of parental care," according to an explanatory note to the draft resolution, which is now being considered by the Verkhovna Rada Committee on humanitarian and information policy.

In March, the UN already raised concerns about the forced adoption of Ukrainian children in Russia. The international organization was especially concerned about the fate of about 90,000 children who lived in orphanages and boarding schools in eastern Ukraine.

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