The United Nations accuses Russia of forcing Ukrainian children into adoption
The United Nations has condemned Russia for forcing thousands of Ukrainian children into adoption and making them Russian citizens.
The head of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), Filippo Grandi, said Russia violated “fundamental principles of child protection” in wartime by giving Russian passports to Ukrainian children in occupied territories and putting them up for adoption.
Ukrainian officials say as many as 14,000 children have been taken to Russia and only 125 have returned. The sum could be far higher, the country’s human rights commissioner said.
“In a war situation, you can’t tell if children have families or guardianship,” Grandi told the BBC. “And so, until that is resolved, you cannot give them another nationality or have them adopted by another family.”
“This is happening in Russia and must not happen,” Grandi added.
Filippo, who recently returned from a six-day tour of Ukraine, said President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has called on UNHCR to “do more” to help children who are being forced into adoption
He also said his agency has no idea how many children have been shipped out of Ukraine because Russia has been very reticent about the practice.
“We’re looking for access [to that information] all the time, and access was rather infrequent, sporadic and not unrestricted,” Grandi said.
Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova fired back at Grandi’s remarks, accusing him of keeping quiet after children were killed in alleged Ukrainian shelling in the Donbass region after separatists declared independence in 2014.
“I also wish such UN officials had taken note of the colossal humanitarian aid” provided by Russia after the rocket attacks, Zakharova told reporters.
Grandi said millions have been displaced because of the war in Ukraine, including at least 8 million who have fled abroad and millions more who are internally displaced.
Almost 3 million refugees from Ukraine have been registered in Russia – more than any other European country, according to the latest UNHCR data.
An aide to Ukraine’s president said earlier this month that nearly 14,000 children had been “deported” to Russia from the occupied territories of Ukraine, but Moscow has denied allegations that the children had been kidnapped.
Grandi predicted that Ukraine’s refugee crisis could take one of two paths as the conflict rages on – either more refugees could return for the warm season, which saw “hundreds of thousands” return last year, or continued fighting could trigger a new wave of Refugees trigger refugees.
“What we’ve seen over the past few days isn’t very promising in that regard, everyone foresees that there will be an increase in hostilities, an escalation… and that will likely result in more displacement,” Gandi said.
https://nypost.com/2023/01/28/un-slams-russia-for-forcing-ukrainian-children-into-adoption/ The United Nations accuses Russia of forcing Ukrainian children into adoption