wepage headers 13 | UNWLA - Ukrainian National Womens League of America

The russian genocidal war on Ukraine has wrought devastating destruction, pollution of Ukrainian agricultural land, an appalling number of killed and injured people, and illegal deportation of Ukrainian children to russia. While UNWLA is doing everything possible to provide medical and humanitarian aid to Ukraine, our key mission remains support for Ukrainian women and children.

In 2023, in response to the confirmed thousands of cases of illegal deportation of Ukrainian children to russia, UNWLA launched an advocacy campaign called  “Return Ukraine’s Children”. 

The campaign aims to raise awareness of the issue among Americans. We also advocate for the recognition of the responsibility of the russian government for the crimes against Ukrainian children, which falls under the definition of genocide.

Currently, we are focused on gathering co-sponsors among US Representatives and Senators for the Resolution (H.Res.149 / S.Res.158) that calls for holding the russian government responsible for the illegal kidnapping of children from Ukraine, condemns those actions, and declares that illegal adoptions of these children are contrary to the Genocide Convention.

ENGL Return Ukrainian Children | UNWLA - Ukrainian National Womens League of America

In late 2023, the House International Affairs Committee passed the Resolution and recommended it for a general vote in the House. It became the first win for our large community of advocates. Representative Susan Wild recognized UNWLA members’ advocacy efforts in her speech supporting the Resolution. 

However, there is more to do!

While waiting for the Resolution to be introduced for a vote in the House of representatives, we encourage you to keep reminding your elected officials about the issue and urging them to vote for the Resolution once it’s up for a vote. 

Please call and email the office of your elected officials today. Here are comprehensive instructions to follow and share with your network. 

Tell your representatives in the Congress that Ukrainian children must be returned home from the russian captivity, and those responsible for the abduction must be held accountable under International Law.

Timeline of the events and additional resources:

Early in the russian war on Ukraine,  news about the illegal transfer of Ukrainian children from the occupied territories to russia surfaced and attracted the attention of the international community. Later in 2022, it became a known fact that russia had abducted thousands of Ukrainian Children. 

Later, in February 2023, the State Department issued a briefing describing the full scale of the crime against Ukrainian children. On the same day, Yale Conflict Lab issued a detailed report analyzing camps and re-educational programs of Ukrainian children launched by russia. 

The UN held two sessions, “Gross Human Rights Violations due to the Aggression Against Ukraine”:    Session 1, Session 2

February 21st, 2023, Congresswoman Susan Wild introduced a resolution condemning the illegal abduction of children from Ukraine to the russian federation. H.Res.149 

March 17, 2023 – International Criminal Court issues arrest warrants against Vladimir Putin and Maria Lvova-Belova, russian ombudswoman, for they are allegedly responsible for the unlawful transfer of Ukrainian children from the occupied territories. 

April 17, 202, Senator Gary Peters introduced the Senate version of the Resolution condemning the illegal abduction of children from Ukraine to the russian federation. S.Res.158

The UNWLA Advocacy Committee launched the Advocacy campaign “Return Ukraine’s Children” which aims to build awareness of the issue and advocate among elected officials to formalize recognition of the crimes by the US government.

November 7, 2023 – The House Foreign Affairs Committee passed the Resolution and recommended it for a vote by Congress. 

December 7, 2023, International Conference “Freedom or Fear”: Ukrainian Ombudsman Dmytro Lubinets stated that the government has confirmed that 19,500 Ukrainian children were illegally abducted and transferred to the russian federation. 

January 11, 2024, Reuter’s special report How Russian Officials and their collaborators spirit away Ukrainian children

January 31, 2024, The US Helsinki Commission held a hearing Eyewitness Accounts: Ukrainian Children and Adult Civilians Abducted by Russia https://bit.ly/3ufzB9y