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How many children were deported to russia: return procedure

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How many children were deported to russia: return procedure

The occupiers have deported about 20 thousand children from Ukraine. Unfortunately, this number continues to grow. Learn more about the procedure for returning a child from the territory of the russian federation

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Since the beginning of the full-scale invasion, russia has been taking Ukrainian children to its territory. Most of them used to live in the temporarily occupied territories of Luhansk, Donetsk, Kherson, Zaporizhzhia, and Crimea.  

How many children have already been deported, and where should relatives of deported children go? Read more in our article.


How many Ukrainian children have been deported to russia?


Dmytro Lubinets, the Ukrainian Parliamentary Commissioner for Human Rights, said that about 150,000 young Ukrainians may be in russia. However, the deportation of about 17,000 children has been officially confirmed - these are the children about whom detailed information has been collected, their place of residence in Ukraine and their territorial location in russia are known. 

Also, according to various estimates, from 1500 to 2500 orphans could have been transported to russia. Among the deported minors are children with disabilities or mental disorders who have parents or relatives in Ukraine.

However, russia claims that there are currently more than 733,000 Ukrainian children living on its territory. In her latest statement, Russian Children's Commissioner Maria Lvova-Belova said that 56 Ukrainian children are currently in the occupied Crimea and Krasnodar Territory and are waiting to be reunited with their families. It is also said that since October 2022, the Russian authorities have returned more than 2,000 children to their families. However, there is no official confirmation of this information. 


In particular, the National Information Bureau has registered more than 19.5 thousand Ukrainian children deported and/or illegally displaced since the beginning of the full-scale russian aggression (according to open sources, voiced by representatives of the Russian Federation, 744 thousand children have been displaced).

According to international organizations, more than 2 million Ukrainian children have been temporarily evacuated to other countries, and about 3 million children are currently internally displaced.


As a reminder, on March 17, the International Criminal Court (ICC) issued an arrest warrant for Lvivova-Belova and russian president vladimir putin for an alleged scheme to deport Ukrainian children to russia. 

Thus, it is impossible to estimate the exact number of children deported to russia, as russia does not provide information on the deportation process to Ukraine or international organizations.


It is worth noting that most of these children were moved together with their legal representative - parents or guardians. 

The Yale University School of Public Health also conducted an independent investigation, which revealed that russia had forcibly relocated more than 6 Ukrainian children to special camps for "ideological re-education" in occupied Crimea and on the russian mainland.

According to the Ukrainian ombudsmen, as of mid-April, 361 children have been returned to Ukraine. However, this was possible only with the active participation of parents. 


The procedure for returning children from the territory of the russian federation


Currently, there is no single procedure for the return of children. Ukraine is only developing possible schemes. The return of each child is decided individually and through joint work of the state and the child's parents or guardians. 

Where to apply?

In case of violation of rights, illegal displacement of you or your child, you can contact the Ukrainian Parliament Commissioner for Human Rights

- at the address: 21/8 Instytutska St., Kyiv, 01008; 

- by e-mail: [email protected];

- hotline: 0 800 501 720; 

- by phone: 044 299 74 08. 


The National Information Bureau has provided an algorithm of actions in case a child is deported:

 Collect and report information about the deported child and the circumstances of such events: The child's full name, date of birth, place of residence; where the child was forcibly removed from and under what circumstances; whether the child was with parents or accompanied by other persons; the child's last known whereabouts or current location; special characteristics of the child; contacts of the child's parents or relatives, as well as the person who reported the deportation.

 Write down all the information you collect as soon as you receive it to preserve the chronology of events.

 If there is a photo of the child, photo/video evidence of the child's deportation, immediately notify the NIB by e-mail: [email protected] or by filling out the appropriate form on the website.

 If you are contacted by persons accompanying the child (parents, relatives), advise them to contact the diplomatic missions of partner countries or Ukraine (if they work in the host country), international missions such as the International Organization for Migration (IOM), the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), UNICEF, the International Committee of the Red Cross, UNHCR (UN Refugee Agency).


In addition, in order to improve the location of minors/underage children, in particular those who have gone missing or lost contact with them, the Juvenile Prevention Department of the National Police of Ukraine, together with the company "Find My Parent", has developed a mobile application "Reunite Ukraine" to search for persons, including children, who have gone missing, as well as to reunite family members who have been illegally deported to russia, Belarus or the temporarily occupied territories.

The mobile application can be downloaded from the App Store and Google Play, and more information is available at www.reunite-ukraine.com.

Information materials on this issue are available here.


You can also get advice on the deportation of a child and report a lost child; a crime against children; if you have found a child; if you know about the deportation of a child; and about the forced change of a child's citizenship and documents on the Children of War portal.


We remind you! Currently, all checkpoints on the border with the aggressor country and Belarus are officially closed. However, there are exceptions. Read more about who and how is allowed to cross the border from russia to Ukraine during the war in our article.




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