Ukraine’s Ombudsperson Informs UNICEF about Militarisation of Children in Territories Occupied by Russia


Ukrainian Parliament Commissioner for Human Rights Liudmyla Denisova informed the Head of the United Nations Children’s Fund Office (UNICEF) in Ukraine about the systematic policy of militarisation of children pursued in the temporarily occupied territories of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions.

“The occupation administrations convert secondary schools into military and Cossack cadet corps, introducing a component based on the principles of ideology propaganda aimed at forming a lasting negative attitude towards Ukraine and imposing certain principles of religion,” Denisova posted on Facebook.

According to her, 33 cadet classes are currently functioning in the temporarily occupied territory of the Luhansk region, where the subjects of military training and Russian Orthodoxy are intensively studied and students are required to wear military cadet uniforms.

The Commissioner considers that the actions of the occupation administration violate the rights of children enshrined in the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.

“To protect the rights of children, I appealed to the Head of the United Nations Children’s Fund Office (UNICEF) in Ukraine with a request to contribute to the observance of the rights of children living in the territory not controlled by the Government of Ukraine authorities and to prevent children from being involved in the armed conflict,” Denisova added.

The day before, the Commissioner informed about the murder of three Ukrainian citizens in the Kirovske penal colony No. 33 (located in the temporarily occupied territory of the Donetsk region). The killed people had been convicted before the Russian aggression started in eastern Ukraine.

According to Denisova, 450 Ukrainian citizens are currently awaiting transfer from the temporarily occupied territories of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions, including 70 lifers. At the same time, the transfer of convicts from the territories temporarily beyond the control of the Government of Ukraine has not taken place since the beginning of 2019.

The Commissioner asked the leadership of the International Committee of the Red Cross in Ukraine to urgently send its representatives to the Kirovske penal colony No. 33 in Donetsk to check the circumstances of the death of Ukrainian citizens and the status of other detainees.

Bohdan Marusyak

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