To the representatives of international organizations,
monitoring missions and international institutions
On 26 of July, around 60 children from Regional orphanage №2 in Lugansk have been kidnapped by LNR terrorists. The children are being transported through the border by busses to Russian Federation without proper documents and permissions. It is known that chief physician of the orphanage is being held hostage together with the children. According to the information published on Ukrainian Foregin Ministry website, the attack took place at 17:15 of Kyiv time.
The Regional orphanage №2 in Lugansk accepts children up to 4 years, who require constant supervision of doctors. Many of them include babies and have neurological disorders, birth defects, Down syndrome, HIV. A single chief physician may not be able to look after 60 children at a time. Besides, the kids were placed in different buses, the exact number of which has not been reported.
At this moment the activists of Vostok SOS initiative are unable to reach the chief physician at his mobile number.
“According to U.N. convention on the Rights of the Child, every child has the right to preserve his/her identity, including citizenship. Transporting children-citizens of Ukraine is a violation of international humanitarian law. States, such as Ukraine and Russia are signatories of the Convention. Therefore, responsibility for this incident, being seen as a violation of children’s rights, lies on both states. And both parties should acknowledge the use of children and to immediately solve the issue in favor of the children – citizens of Ukraine. They should remain in Ukraine and move to a safe area within our state.”- Says Svitlana Tarabanova, the native of Lugansk, Children’s department coordinator at Vostok SOS initiative, who also has rich experience in children’s rights defense sphere.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine immediately addressed a demand to Russian Federation to not let the illegal export of Ukrainian orphans to Russia.
This is not the first time when terrorists, while hiding behind children, expose them to mortal danger. For instance, this happened with the children of Snizhne, who had been delivered to Russian federation a while ago.
We call on the international community to urgently respond to the terrorist actions of the Russian Federation on the territory of eastern Ukraine, the last one supporting our children being held hostage by the terrorists.
Kindly do all possible, including measures to put additional pressure on the Russian Federation in order to force the immediate release of Ukrainian children-orphans.
We demand Russian Federation to take responsibility for each violation of fundamental human rights and freedoms in Ukraine.
We require that in the case of child kidnapping, the international investigation should be held.
Legal direction coordinator of Vostok-SOS initiative