On June 12, 2014, in the city of Snizhne, Donetsk region, armed persons, representatives of the so-called People's Republic of Donetsk, abducted a group of 28 citizens of Ukraine, including 25 orphans and inmates from children’s homes who were going to the Dnipropetrovsk region for improving their health.
The criminals with the threat of arms forced the bus driver to change the direction and by a company of armed people directed the vehicle with passengers to Luhansk region at Dolzhansky control checkpoint with the aim to take children to the Russian Federation.
Later, according to the information of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine, one accompanied person with 9 children could leave the bus at the crossing point of the Ukrainian-Russian border, but the other 18 children of the group were moved to the Russian Federation, and currently they stay in the city of Donetsk in Rostov region of the Russian Federation.
The legal analysis of this situation indicates rude violation by the Russian side of all international commitments regarding respect of children's rights within the framework of multilateral conventions, in particular Articles 11 and 35 of the Convention on the rights of children. Taking into consideration the absence of permits for transporting children abroad, it allows to qualify such actions as an international kidnapping and illegal displacement of children with appropriate legal consequences for them and others sides by whose permission or assistance this crime was committed.
Such a position of the Russian side, which takes the Ukrainian children as hostages of its political gambling, should get an adequate assessment and response by the international community.
We call on our partners to mediate in order to return the Ukrainian minors back home as soon as possible and to strongly condemn such deceitful acts that violate human rights and cause suffering of children.