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World Children’s Day: Mijatovic (Council of Europe), protecting the children who suffer because of the war is the “highest priority” for the European countries

“Doubling our efforts to protect and assist the children who are suffering because of Russia’s brutal war in Ukraine”: this is asked of the EU member states by the Commissioner for Human Rights of the Council of Europe, Dunja Mijatović, as a special focus in the run-up to World Children’s Day (November 20th). In her message, the Commissioner speaks of “endless reports” coming from Ukraine about “children killed, wounded, orphaned and shocked by indiscriminate attacks or attacks targeted at civilians”, about children “forced to take shelter, with their families, in cold basements, with no access to their most basic needs”, about millions of children evacuated or separated from their loved ones. May all these little war victims be “the highest priority” for the European countries: humanitarian assistance in Ukraine and support for all those for whom “it is too early to get back home safely” need to be intensified, but attention should also be paid to forced transfers of Ukrainian children to Russia, “a new and particularly scaring effect of the war on children”. By amending the regulations so that Russian citizenship may be more easily granted to Ukrainian children, they are even adopted in Russia. And she warns: “Children separated from their parents during a humanitarian emergency cannot be assumed to be orphans and are not available for adoption”. Forced transfers too are equally forbidden by the international treaties. All such breaches are “war crimes and crimes against humanity”

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