Canada welcomes release of report by Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe on deportation of Ukrainian children


May 4, 2023 - Ottawa, Ontario - Global Affairs Canada

The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Foreign Affairs, today issued the following statement:

“Since the beginning of Russia’s unjustifiable full-scale invasion of Ukraine, Canada, in partnership with Ukraine and other members of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe [OSCE], has invoked the OSCE Moscow Mechanism three times to examine Russia’s ongoing war crimes and violations of human rights in Ukraine, most recently regarding the transfer and deportation of Ukrainian children.

“Today, while Canada welcomes this report, we are outraged by the violations that it documents—violations of international humanitarian law and international human rights. Its findings further support the International Criminal Courts’ arrest warrants for President Putin and Commissioner Maria Lvova-Belova for their alleged war crimes.

“Specifically, the mission of experts found that as a result of Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine, thousands of unaccompanied and separated children have been deported to Russia or forcibly transferred to temporarily occupied territories.

“Such actions are unconscionable. Canada joins with the other 44 states that invoked the OSCE Moscow Mechanism to urge Russia to implement the report’s recommendations. Children are amongst the most vulnerable in conflict, and it is the duty of all involved to ensure their safeguarding.

“The multiple OSCE reports show Russia’s clear pattern of gross violations of human rights and grave breaches of international humanitarian law. Canada will always advocate for the rights and protection of children, especially in conflict settings. We stand with our partners in our combined efforts to ensure accountability for these serious international crimes.

“Children cannot be spoils of war. Russia must return the children of Ukraine to Ukraine now.”


Adrien Blanchard
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Foreign Affairs

Media Relations Office
Global Affairs Canada
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