December 26, 2023, 13:51

russia’s obduction of Ukrainian children should be reclassified as genocide, not war crime: human rights defenders draft complaint to ICC Prosecutor’s Office

Human rights activists have studied in detail how russia us deporting Ukrainian children to its territory. In a new complaint to the Office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC), it is argued that the case of the unlawful transfer of children should be recognized as genocide, not a war crime. Regarding the number of illegally displaced children, human rights defenders primarily rely on official data from Ukrainian authorities, which is at least 19,546 deported children.

Mykola Komarovskyi, lawyer at the Kharkiv Human Rights Protection Group, made this statement during a briefing at Media Center Ukraine – Ukrinform.

According to him, apart from a number of other similar complaints, this one is actually the first to contain not only pure facts, but also a significant part dedicated to the presenting arguments for the theoretical section of the complaint, which suggests that there are many questions with regard to the crime of genocide.

“This is a rather complex category, it is difficult to prove. And although we understand that perhaps some of the best lawyers in the world work in the ICC, since this issue is contentious, we also tried to combine the factual component and the theoretical component, since it is contentious. And this is actually the first complaint in this format,” he explained.

As the human rights defender noted, the complaint, in addition to the arguing that aspects of the crime constitute genocide, also includes cases of russian officials’ adopting illegally deported Ukrainian children. Such facts, explained Mykola Komarovskyi, make it possible to prove many other important legal structures, which indicate that the crime of genocide is taking place.

According to Mykola Komarovskyi, the work on the complaint is slow, it can last for years, and much, in his opinion, will depend on how the events related to the war in Ukraine will unfold. However, the main consequence that human rights defenders want to achieve is to make all those guilty of crimes to face justice for what they have done.

“The main consequence we are trying to achieve is to bring those guilty to justice. Of course, there is no doubt that this decision was made by russia’s highest leadership. This is their policy specifically aimed at destroying the Ukrainian state, destroying the Ukrainian nation. And of course, bringing these people to justice is the main goal. However, this is very complicated and depends on many aspects, and above all on how the war in Ukraine will develop,” he added.

You can find out more about the complaint to the ICC Prosecutor’s Office at the link:

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