NATO’s Parliamentary Assembly passed a declaration Monday stating that Russia’s forced deportation of children from occupied regions of Ukraine potentially amounts to genocide.
The resolution specifically mentions the accusation that Russian authorities forcibly transported Ukrainian children to Russia after the 2022 Russian invasion and notes that:
the forcible transfer of children from one group to another group with the intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group is an act of genocide according to the UN Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide of 1948.
The declaration resolved to “hold accountable the Russian regime, its co-aggressors in the Belarusian regime and all other perpetrators, including for the crime of aggression, war crimes, crimes against humanity and possible acts of genocide committed in Ukraine.” The assembly also welcomes “the historic decision of the International Criminal Court to issue an arrest warrant for Vladimir Putin.”
Genocide was first recognized as a crime under international law in 1946 by the United Nations General Assembly (A/RES/96-I). It was codified as an independent crime in the 1948 Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide. The Convention has been ratified by 153 States. The definition of the crime of genocide as contained in Article II of the Genocide Convention states as follows: “In the present Convention, genocide means any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group.”
Yegor Chernev, chairman of the Permanent Delegation of Ukraine to the assembly said that the “far-reaching declaration” would have “far-reaching political consequences.” He further urged governments to openly admit Ukraine to NATO and “agree on the next concrete steps for Ukraine’s entry” to the alliance.
He further said that the declaration represented a “diplomatic victory”, with support being shown for the creation of an independent tribunal to prosecute the crime of aggression in Ukraine and willingness to assist Ukraine. He added that delegates also supported the restoration of Ukraine’s territorial integrity, sanctions against Russia, reparations, and a Marshall Plan for Ukraine.