The United States and 44 other countries, with the support of Ukraine, invoked the Organization of Security and Cooperation in Europe’s (OSCE) Moscow Mechanism requesting that the OSCE’s Office of Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) establish an expert mission to examine allegations of the forced transfer of children in those parts of Ukraine’s territory temporarily controlled or occupied by Russia, as well as allegations that Ukraine’s children have been deported to the Russian Federation. This expert mission will look into whether such actions and any abuses associated with or resulting from them violate international law, constitute war crimes or crimes against humanity, and/or contravene relevant OSCE commitments. This mission will also be tasked with collecting, consolidating, and analyzing any evidence that could be shared with relevant accountability mechanisms as well as national, regional, or international courts or tribunals that may have jurisdiction.
This invocation follows OSCE’s April and July 2022 Moscow Mechanism Mission Reports, which were requested by the United States and 44 other countries. Those investigations documented widespread human rights abuses and violations of international humanitarian law by Russian Federation forces in Ukraine. Those reports catalogued extensive evidence of direct targeting of civilians, attacks on medical facilities, rape, torture, summary executions, looting, and forced deportation of civilians to Russia, including children, constituting “clear patterns of serious violations of international humanitarian law attributable mostly to Russia’s armed forces…in the territories under the effective control of the Russian Federation.”
In times of war, children are among the most vulnerable and require special attention and protection. Forcibly transferring or deporting children who have been separated from their families or legal guardians risks exposing them to further abuses. We urge relevant authorities to cooperate fully with the expert mission and facilitate its work. The United States and our partners remain steadfastly committed to supporting Ukraine and holding the Russian Federation to account for its unconscionable abuses.
originally published at Politics - JISIP NEWS