Resolution of the UN on the human rights situation in the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol will include provisions condemning the actions of the Russia in destroying the identity of children
One of the directions of our organization’s activities is international advocacy for the recognition and condemnation of Russia’s actions regarding the indoctrination and militarization of children in Ukrainian occupied territories, as well as holding accountable those involved in these actions.
From December 27 to 29, the head of our organization, Mariia Sulialina, along with colleagues from the Center for Human Rights ZMINA, the Regional Center for Human Rights, and the Crimean Human Rights Group, visited New York for international advocacy.
The human rights activists had a series of meetings with UN missions from various countries to report on the current human rights violations in the occupied territories of Ukraine and to lobby for the adoption of a UN resolution that includes the Autonomous Republic of Crimea.
- On November 27, the human rights activists met with the UN missions of Ukraine, Singapore, and Peru.
- On November 28, a meeting was held with UNDPPA (Department of Political Affairs and Peacebuilding), as well as a briefing with representatives of EU countries, including Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Ireland, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, and Sweden.
- Additional meetings with UN missions of Slovenia, Japan, Georgia, Costa Rica, and Guyana were conducted on November 29.
During advocacy meetings with UN mission representatives, human rights activists emphasized the importance of maintaining attention to the situation in Ukraine, the critical need to develop and launch mechanisms for the return of civil prisoners and children, and the importance of using all available UN mechanisms to protect Ukrainian children in temporarily occupied territories, including protecting their identity and resisting the militarization process.
Mariia Sulialina, during the meetings, highlighted the violations of rights and crimes against children in the occupied territories, reminding about the system of destroying identity:
«Since 2014, Russia has created a system in the occupied Crimea to destroy the identity of children, and all these years it has purposefully militarized and indoctrinated Ukrainian children. The lack of a proper response to these violations has led to the fact that after the full-scale invasion, Russia not only spread this system to newly occupied territories but also significantly intensified the propaganda of the service in the armed forces of the occupant country to turn Ukrainian children into a mobilization reserve. It is critically important to finally make this crime visible and use all available UN mechanisms to protect children in occupation»
It is important to note that this year’s UN resolution “Situation of human rights in the temporarily occupied Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol, Ukraine” includes provisions condemning the actions of the Russian Federation in destroying the identity of children.
Our organization, together with partners from the Human Rights House Crimea, proposed additions to the resolution, and for us, it is valuable that the crimes committed by Russia against children in occupation are documented in the text of the resolution. This is one of the steps in our fight to protect the rights of children in occupation and to hold those responsible accountable.
The included provisions will address the following:
«Expressing concern about the militarization and assimilation of young people in the temporarily controlled or occupied territories of Ukraine by the Russian Federation, including combat training of children for military service in the Russian armed forces as well as the introduction of the “military-patriotic” education system, and its blocking of access to Ukrainian education».
To stop the illegal drafting and mobilization of residents of the temporarily controlled or occupied territories of Ukraine into the armed forces of the Russian Federation, stop pressure aimed at compelling residents of the temporarily controlled or occupied territories of Ukraine to serve in the armed or auxiliary forces of the Russian Federation, as well as using propaganda, also targeted at children and through the education system, and ensure strict compliance with its international obligations as an occupying Power.
We continue to actively operate on the international stage to draw attention to the crimes and violations committed by Russia against our children in occupation and to create effective international mechanisms for their protection and holding those involved accountable.
The trip was made possible with the support of the Human Rights House Foundation and the The Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union.