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Ombudsman: Ukraine provides Qatar list of 561 children deported to Russia

Qatar agrees to help secure return of orphans & children without parental care, estimated at over 3,600. As of Jan 2024, 518 kids brought back.
Ombudsmen Lubinets & Qatar representatives
Verkhovna Rada Commissioner Dmytro Lubinets at a meeting with representatives of Qatar. Credit: Dmytro Lubinets via Telegram
Ombudsman: Ukraine provides Qatar list of 561 children deported to Russia

Ukraine has passed a list containing the names of 561 Ukrainian children illegally held in Russia to Qatar, Dmytro Lubinets, Ukraine’s Parliamentary Commissioner for Human Rights, said, following two days of talks in Qatar on 25 April.

As of March 2023, Ukraine identified over 19,500 children deported to Russia.

Lubinets said that negotiations regarding the return of Ukrainian children are being mediated by Qatar, with no direct talks between Ukraine and Russia.

“We emphasized that legally there is no difference between biological parents and official adoptive parents or guardians. Therefore, Russia is obliged to return the children, regardless of their status,” the ombudsman said.

Commenting on the results of the talks in Qatar, Lubinets said that in addition to handing over the list, Ukraine is to return a group of Ukrainian children soon. Two countries also discussed the issue of returning so-called “high-profile” children, such as orphans and those deprived of parental care.

According to Lubinets, Qatar agreed to accept the first list of orphans and children deprived of parental care and work on the issue of their return to Ukraine. He noted that there could be over 3,600 such children. Moreover, Lubinets said that Qatar agreed to participate in negotiations with Russia regarding the return of civilians illegally detained by Russia.

As of the end of January 2024, Ukraine managed to return 518 children, including 388, who Russia deported to its territory, according to the Ombudsman Dmytro Lubinets.

The Presidential Commissioner for Children’s Rights, Daria Gerasymchuk, said that as of the end of March 2023, the Ukrainian authorities knew about more than 19,500 children taken from the occupied Ukraine’s territories to Russia. Still, it was difficult to accurately count them due to the occupation of part of Ukraine’s territory.

On 5 April 2023, 49 countries, in a joint statement, condemned Russia for organizing a Security Council meeting on the alleged legal grounds for the abduction of Ukrainian children from the Russian-occupied territories.

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