Ukraine is doing everything to ensure punishment for Russia's mass forced deportation of Ukrainian children. This was emphasized by representatives of our country at the United for Justice: War Crimes against Ukrainian Children conference in Toronto, held on World Children's Day.
The event was organized by the Office of the Prosecutor General, the Embassy of Ukraine in Canada and their partners with the participation of Global Affairs Canada as part of the implementation of the national action plan Bring Kids Back UA approved by the President of Ukraine. Massey College and the Raoul Wallenberg Centre for Human Rights are also among the organizers of the conference.
Ukraine was represented by a delegation including Prosecutor General Andriy Kostin, Deputy Minister of Justice Iryna Mudra, MP Lesia Zaburanna and Advisor - Presidential Commissioner for Children's Rights and Child Rehabilitation Daria Herasymchuk, along with Ambassador of Ukraine to Canada Yuliya Kovaliv and her team.
According to Andriy Kostin, the violation by the Russian Federation of all possible laws and basic rules of humanity in relation to Ukrainian children, like all other crimes, must automatically entail responsibility.
"This is a prerequisite for political stability and the restoration of international peace and security," he said.
In her speech, Daria Herasymchuk emphasized that Ukraine is committed to upholding the law and protecting children.
"We care about the safety of Ukrainian children and do everything possible to protect them, and we are ready to speak up for them when they are deprived of their own voice by the Russians. Only together can we do everything to protect the children of Ukraine today for the sake of any other child in the world tomorrow. After all, today these are children of Ukraine, and tomorrow it can be any child from any country in the world," she said.
During the discussions, experts from governments and the NGO sector discussed how to stop the deportation and forced displacement of Ukrainian children by Russians, return abducted children home, and bring all those involved to justice.
The representatives of Ukraine and foreign partners emphasized the importance of international support and cooperation in returning Ukrainian children to their homeland with the active participation of the NGO sector.
The conference was opened with a video message from Head of the Office of the President of Ukraine Andriy Yermak and a speech by Minister of Foreign Affairs of Canada Mélanie Joly. The conference was also attended by former Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada Irwin Cotler, Massey College Principal Nathalie DesRosiers and Chair in Human Rights at Massey College Payam Akhavan.