Aliona Luniova, Advocacy Manager at ZMINA Human Rights Center, Media Center Ukraine — Ukrinform
November 18, 2022, 15:25

If the Child Is on the Territory of Russia, He or She Will Not Return on Their Own, the State Authorities Must Be Contacted — Luniova

Children who have left for the territory of the russian federation do not return on their own: the relatives need to contact the state authorities of Ukraine. Aliona Luniova, Advocacy Manager at ZMINA Human Rights Center, told this during the briefing in Media Center Ukraine — Ukrinform.

“If there is an idea to return a child who does not have documents from the russian federation to Ukraine, this should be done with the help of Ukrainian state institutions. This can be the Ministry for Reintegration of Temporarily Occupied Territories, the Human-Rights Ombudsman of the Verkhovna Rada, the National Police Directorate and various law enforcement agencies, because deportation is a war crime. First, it is needed to identify a guardian: a person who can provide all the necessary documents to the russian authorities or guardianship authorities,” Aliona Luniova explained.

The expert noted that if Ukrainians find themselves abroad and do not have documents for children born in Ukraine or in its temporarily occupied territories, the child can be recorded in the certificate of return to Ukraine.

“If relatives do not know the fate of the child, or know that he or she is on the territory of the russian federation, the competent authorities of the state must obligatorily be addressed. This is the only way to return the child. It will not return on its own, and russians will not release it. Therefore, it is important that the state knows about this child,” Aliona Luniova pointed out.

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