Two weeks ago the International Criminal Court (ICC) issued an arrest warrant against Russian President Vladimir Putin, accusing him of the war crime of illegally deporting hundreds of children from Ukraine to Russia.
According to Ukraine more than 16,000 children have been illegally transferred to Russia or Russian-occupied territories in Ukraine.
In addition, a U.S.-backed report by Yale University researchers last month said Russia has held at least 6,000 Ukrainian children in at least 43 camps and other facilities as part of a “large-scale systematic network”.
This warrant will obligate the court’s 123 member states to arrest Putin and transfer him to The Hague for trial if he sets foot on their territory.
In its first warrant for Ukraine, the ICC called for Putin’s arrest on suspicion of unlawful deportation of children and unlawful transfer of people from the territory of Ukraine to the Russian Federation since Feb. 24, 2022.
Karim Khan ICC chief prosecutor in a statement said hundreds of Ukrainian children have been taken from orphanages and children’s homes to Russia.
He added many of these children have since been given up for adoption in the Russian Federation.
The alleged acts demonstrate an intention to permanently remove these children from their own country. At the time of these deportations, the Ukrainian children were protected persons under the Fourth Geneva Convention.
The court also issued a warrant on Friday for Maria Lvova-Belova, Russia’s Commissioner for Children’s Rights, on the same charges.