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Belarus aided Russia in deporting Ukrainian children, report says

The Belarusian government has allegedly taken part in the illegal deportation of children from Russian-occupied territories of Ukraine, exiled Belarusian opposition leaders alleged in a preliminary report.

Poland wants sanctions for deportation of Ukrainian children to Belarus

Poland’s Permanent Representative to the EU, Andrzej Sadoś, provided ambassadors of the other 26 EU countries information on Belarus’s involvement…

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The National Anti-Crisis Management, a group of political opponents to the government of President Alyaksandr Lukashenka, wrote in the report that 2,150 Ukrainian children, including orphans aged six to 15, have been taken to so-called recreation camps and sanatoriums on Belarusian territory.

Ukraine’s former top prosecutor told Reuters last year there were cases of forced deportations of Ukrainians to Russia and Belarus. Ukrainian prosecutors did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Tuesday.

Roughly 20,000 children have been illegally transferred to Russia since the full-scale invasion of Ukraine on February 24, 2022, with some being put up for adoption, Ukraine has alleged.

In March, the International Criminal Court, the world’s permanent war crimes tribunal, issued arrest warrants for Russian President Vladimir Putin and his ombudsman for children’s rights, Maria Lvova-Belova, for two counts of war crimes for moving hundreds of Ukrainian children to Russia.

Crime against humanity?
Yulia Ioffe, an assistant professor at University College London and a specialist in children’s rights law, said that if substantiated, Belarus would “highly likely” be violating the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

“The actions of Belarus may also amount to the crime against humanity of ‘deportation of forcible transfer of population’ under the Rome Statute of the ICC, provided there is sufficient evidence of forcible transfers being widespread or systematic,” she said.

The report asserts that Ukrainian children were taken to the Belarusian Golden Sands Sanatorium in the Gomel region and the Ostroshitsky Gorodok Sanatorium and Dubrava camp in the Minsk region.

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