Ukraine: IBAHRI Director Baroness Helena Kennedy to co-chair task force on deported children
By Law News
Appointment announced by Andriy Yermak, Head of the Ukraine President's Office
Baroness Helena Kennedy KC, Director of the International Bar Association’s Human Rights Institute (IBAHRI), is announced by Andriy Yermak, Head of the Ukraine President's Office, as Co-Chair of Bring Kids Back UA – a high-level group of experts focused on returning forcefully deported children to Ukraine.
Mr Yermak, who extended the invitation to Baroness Kennedy KC to co-lead the group, said: ‘In my deep conviction, given your talent and experience, your work in this group will be a very big step and gain for Ukraine. We will be able to unite almost the whole world in this work.’
The core objective of Bring Kids Back UA is to develop recommendations for an effective mechanism for the return of children deported from Ukraine amidst the ongoing war with Russia. The group also aims to create a new, international legal basis for the protection of children’s rights in armed conflict.
Baroness Kennedy KC, one of Britain's most distinguished lawyers who has spent her professional life promoting human rights, commented: ‘There is an urgent need to reunite abducted children with their relatives in Ukraine because the more time that passes the more difficult the task and estranged the children become. Children must be protected, particularly those in conflict situations where they are especially vulnerable. The requirement to establish a mechanism in line with international human rights standards is clear, as is the necessity for collaboration at international level among legal experts, organisations – including the United Nations – and states, which must better enforce existing UN mechanisms on the protection of children in conflict.’
She added: ‘The children that have been reunited with their families on Ukrainian soil should be able to provide evidence of what happened while they were forcefully deported, which will be very useful. However, there remain many children in that situation in Russia. There is much work to be done and we should not delay. The individuals responsible for the unlawful deportation of these children must be held accountable.’
Article 5 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child states: ‘States Parties shall take all appropriate national, bilateral and multilateral measures to prevent the abduction of, the sale of or traffic in children for any purpose or in any form’.