OTTAWA, Canada – September 24, 2023
In a unanimous decision, the lower house of the Canadian Parliament has passed a resolution denouncing Russia’s illegal deportation of Ukrainian children to Russian territory. This forceful resolution categorizes these actions as war crimes and genocide, according to reports from Ukrinform.
The resolution, adopted without opposition, leaves no room for ambiguity, stating, “The House of Commons condemns, with equal firmness, the Russian authorities for the war crimes and genocide constituted by the forced deportation of Ukrainian children to the territory of the Russian Federation, in particular through an abusive selection process known as ‘filtration’ and ‘re-education camps.'”
Furthermore, the resolution explicitly calls for Russia to immediately halt this practice and take steps to “safely return the children to Ukraine.”
Stephane Bergeron, a member of the Bloc Québécois, submitted the resolution for a vote. Bergeron emphasized the gravity of the situation, revealing that at least 19,000 Ukrainian children have been illegally removed from Ukraine by Russian occupiers. He stated, “The main genocidal intention of these vile acts is obvious: to Russify these children and destroy all their cultural characteristics.”
The deportation of Ukrainian children by Russia has been a contentious and deeply troubling issue. On March 17, the International Criminal Court (ICC) issued an arrest warrant for Russian leader Vladimir Putin on charges of kidnapping Ukrainian children, further highlighting the severity of the matter.
Ukraine’s First Lady, Olena Zelenska, previously disclosed that Russia had taken approximately 19,500 children from Ukraine. The process of reuniting these children with their families is marked by complexity and lengthy delays, primarily due to the lack of cooperation and assistance from Russian authorities.
In a glimmer of hope, it was reported on September 14 that 11 more children had been successfully evacuated from the occupied territory of the Kherson region, underscoring the ongoing efforts to reunite these young Ukrainians with their loved ones.
The unanimous condemnation by the Canadian Parliament serves as a significant international statement against Russia’s actions and underscores the urgent need for the safe return of the abducted Ukrainian children to their homeland.