Interactive Dialogue with the UN Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict

Join statement on behalf of Germany, the Kingdom of the Netherlands, and an additional 51 countries.

Madam Special Representative,

I deliver this statement on behalf of Germany, the Kingdom of the Netherlands, and an additional 51 countries.

“I can’t see my future because I don’t know if I’ll wake up tomorrow.”

These are the words spoken by Alona, a 14 year old Ukrainian girl.

While these are the words of just one child, they convey the thoughts of the 6,7 million children who continue to face daily shelling in Ukraine.

These words remind us that every war has a disproportionate effect on children.

Russia's attacks on civilians and civilian infrastructure in Ukraine are depriving children, including children with disabilities, of the enjoyment of their human rights, including those relating to food, health, education, and even their right to life.

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Special Procedure mandate holders and treaty bodies have repeatedly raised their deepest concerns about Russia’s violations in Ukraine. Your mandate has rightly taken up the plight of Ukrainian children. In this regard, we also welcome the Secretary General’s decision to add Ukraine as a new situation of concern [1].

Now, evidence is mounting that Russia is forcibly transferring Ukrainian children [2] to parts of Ukraine’s territory temporarily controlled or occupied by Russia and/or deporting them from Ukraine to Russia. Russia’s deliberate and systematic actions may present a clear violation of its obligations under international humanitarian law and international human rights law, in particular the Convention on the Rights of the Child to which Russia is a party.

Those responsible for and complicit in these violations and abuses must be held accountable. Impunity must not prevail. We owe it to the children of Ukraine.

Thank you.

List of signatories (15/03)

  1. Albania
  2. Andorra
  3. Australia
  4. Austria
  5. Belgium
  6. Bosnia Herzegovina
  7. Bulgaria
  8. Canada
  9. Costa Rica
  10. Colombia
  11. Croatia
  12. Cyprus
  13. Czech Republic
  14. Denmark
  15. Ecuador
  16. Estonia
  17. Finland
  18. France
  19. Georgia
  20. Germany
  21. Greece
  22. Guatemala
  23. Hungary
  24. Iceland
  25. Ireland
  26. Israel
  27. Italy
  28. Japan
  29. Kingdom of the Netherlands
  30. Latvia
  31. Liechtenstein
  32. Lithuania
  33. Luxembourg
  34. Malta
  35. Marshall Islands
  36. Moldova
  37. Monaco
  38. Montenegro
  39. New Zealand
  40. North Macedonia
  41. Norway
  42. Poland
  43. Portugal
  44. Republic of Korea
  45. Romania
  46. Slovakia
  47. Slovenia
  48. Spain
  49. Sweden
  50. Switzerland
  51. Ukraine
  52. United Kingdom
  53. United States of America

[1] Para 313, UN Secretary-General Annual Report on Children and Armed Conflict, 11 July 2022, N2234471.pdf (un.org)

[2] “UN’s Bachelet Concerned over Ukraine Orphans ‘Deported’ to Russia for Adoption,” UN News, June 15, 2022, https:// archive.ph/UVxEZ, https://news.un.org/en/story/2022/06/1120412; ASG statement to UNSC 7 September 2022 - Human rights concerns related to forced displacement in Ukraine | OHCHR; UNHCR - UNHCR's Grandi 'appalled' by destruction after six-day Ukraine visit