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OSCE report: Russia's deportation of Ukrainian children 'may amount' to crime against humanity
According to a report published by the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) on May 4, mass deportation and forcible transfer of Ukrainian children to the occupied areas and Russia's territory "may amount" to a crime against humanity.
"The Mission concluded that numerous and overlapping violations of the rights of the children deported to the Russian Federation have taken place. Not only has the Russian Federation manifestly violated the best interests of these children repeatedly, it has also denied their right to identity, their right to family, their right to unite with their family," reads the report.
According to the OSCE, Russia has also "violated their rights to education, access to information, right to rest, leisure, play, recreation and participation in cultural life and arts as well as right to thought, conscience, and religion, right to health, and the right to liberty and security."
The 90-page report gives an assessment of Russia's actions taking into account data from both the Ukrainian and Russian sides. It covers the most common scenarios of children's displacement, coercion and threats to parents, violent methods of deportation, adoption procedures in Russia, transfer of children across Russia, their return to Ukraine, etc.
More than 19,000 children have been abducted to Russia, according to a Ukrainian national database, while thousands remain unaccounted for. Ukraine has so far managed to return 364 Ukrainian children forcibly relocated by Russia, and the process is ongoing.
The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) wrote on April 27 that Russia's forced relocation of Ukrainian children and efforts to impose Russian culture on them "matches with the international definition of genocide."
Meanwhile, Ukraine's National Resistance Center reported on April 12 that Russian occupying forces have transported more than 100,000 Ukrainian children from Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts for "medical treatment."