Rīga to host conference on Ukrainian children stolen by Russia

In early 2024, Rīga will play host to an important international conference to consider action in the wake of Russia's kidnapping of Ukrainian children. 

Taking place on January 31 and February 1 at the Latvian National Library, the conference “Russia’s War on Children” (Krievijas karš pret bērniem)  will bring together lawyers, journalists, representatives of advocacy NGOs, diplomats and other defense, foreign law and war crimes experts to discuss the possibility of abducted children for Ukraine. Olena Zelenska, the first lady of Ukraine, has confirmed her participation in the conference and it is anticipated that Ukrainian children who managed to return home from captivity in Russia will give public testimony for the first time.

Since the start of the war, Russia has forcibly removed 19,546 children from Ukraine according to the State Information Office of Ukraine, with Russian President Vladimir Putin's public boasting about the kidnappings leading to the issuing of an international arrest warrant by the International Criminal Court (ICC) against him and Maria Alekseyevna Lvova-Belova, Commissioner for Children’s Rights in the Office of the  President of the Russian Federation.

"We still have an opportunity to correct this situation, and the active involvement of the international community can change a lot in the fate of these children. Pressure from the international community, international legal instruments and the identification and correction of minorities, the involvement of journalists in the investigation of the stories of stolen children, every seemingly small clue can be a clue for a family and a child to return home. It is our shared responsibility to these children and to find solutions," says conference patron Egils Levits, former President of Latvia (2019-2023), and Latvia's special representative on issues of international law and state responsibility.

"Our children are the most precious thing that has been taken away from us in this war, but it is also our still-unlost hope – to bring every child back home to their families. I think every parent can feel the pain and horror felt every day by Ukrainian families whose children have been forcibly or fraudulently taken to Russia. And every father and mother will also understand that we will never give up and until the very end we will do everything possible to return all the children back to Ukraine," says Ukrainian Ambassador to Latvia Anatolii Kucevol.

The conference is being organized by the Embassy of Ukraine in Latvia, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Latvia, the administration of the President of Ukraine, the project "Bring Kids back UA" and the Children's Hospital Foundation together with other supporters.

More about the conference: www.russiaswaronchildren.org 

Seen a mistake?

Select text and press Ctrl+Enter to send a suggested correction to the editor

Select text and press Report a mistake to send a suggested correction to the editor

Related articles


Most important