46th session of the Human Rights Council
Interactive dialogue with the Special Representative of
the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict
Intervention by Ukraine
(Geneva, March 9, 2020)
We welcome the Special Representative and take note of her report.
Ukraine has endorsed the Safe school declaration and the Vancouver Principles – major political commitments in the area of protecting the children affected by armed conflicts and joins the call of Madam Gamba to all parties to conflicts to comply fully with international humanitarian law and immediately take all measures to prevent violations thereof to better protect the rights of children.
Meanwhile, for the seventh consecutive year Ukrainian children suffer from Russian aggression in Donbas. Those of them living along the “contact line” in Donbas face the physical danger and risks from daily violations of the ceasefire by the Russian Federation. According to the reports of the Human Rights Monitoring Mission in Ukraine, UNICEF and other organizations involved, about 150 children lost their lives, hundreds of thousands of them are in need of humanitarian assistance. Educational facilities continue to be damaged or destroyed due to hostilities, attacks of schools continue to take place.
Today we are witnessing a rapid militarization of the educational system in the occupied Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol, Ukraine, as part of ongoing militarization of the peninsular. The cult of war and holding militaristic events despite COVID-19 have become an integral part of education in Crimea. Under the pretext of COVID-19, the occupying power severely restricted movement of young people wishing to study in mainland Ukraine. This extremely worrying tendency requires proper assessment by the HR mechanisms.
An entire chapter of the report is dedicated to the issue of raising awareness and mobilizing global action. We can’t agree more on the importance of activities in this area.
In September 2020, information about the violation of child’s rights in the context of Russia’s militarization policy was submitted to the ICC.
Alas, like in previous reports any mentioning of children suffering from the Russian aggression in Ukraine has been omitted.
We hope that the Special Representative will finally use her voice as the highest United Nations advocate for the protection of children affected by conflict to raise awareness of children suffering on the temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine.