Діти ЮА: Місія – ПОВЕРНЕННЯ/Children UA: А return mission

Project Description


The return of all Ukrainian children who have been deported is a big job for our state and civil society. Russia’s genocidal policy involves divorce from their parents and their legal representatives, deporting them to Russia, and adopting them.

The aggressor country takes all possible measures to erase the identity of the deported children and make their national self-identification as Ukrainians impossible in the future.

Russia does not provide access to data on deportees to Ukraine or international organizations. Therefore, it is now impossible to calculate the exact number of victims.

According to the data of the state portal Children of War (https://childrenofwar.gov.ua/en/), 28,993 children were registered for the period from February 24, 2022, to March 23, 2023. Of them: 465 died (1.6% of those registered on the portal); wounded — 940 (3.2%); disappeared — 395 (1.4%); found — 10,659 (36.8%); deported — 16,226 (56.0%); returned — 308 (1.0%). 

Human rights activists are convinced that more than 700,000 Ukrainian children have been forcibly removed.

Deportations were recorded from Kyiv, Chernihiv, Sumy, Kharkiv, Kherson, Zaporizhzhia, Mykolaiv, Donetsk, and Luhansk regions. This is stated in the analytical report “Deportation of Ukrainian citizens from the territory of active hostilities or from the temporarily occupied territory of Ukraine to the territory of the Russian Federation and the Republic of Belarus”, presented by the coalition of public organizations “Ukraine. Five in the morning”. 

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Deportation of children, as well as many cases of transfer of such children to russian families with subsequent adoption, is a pre-planned action of the invaders. Such conclusions were made by the authors of the analytical report “Forced deportation of children in the Russian Federation”, prepared by the Eastern Human Rights Group and the Institute for Strategic Studies. https://drive.google.com/file/d/1hChKv3DosrZPSWym-YdOhfrE4ySjcrX4/view.


There is also no mechanism for returning deported children to Ukraine yet, it needs to be developed.

Now there are cases of children being returned. They took place as a result of ad hoc agreements, as well as with the active participation of parents.

The “ad hoc” mechanism works. Badly or not enough, but it exists. Therefore, it is very important that relatives, guardians or those who know that their child is in the territory of the russian federation, let the state and the public sector know about it.

This is the beginning for the development of a mechanism for the return of the child. Otherwise, children who have relatives cannot be returned.

If the child is already conscious enough to remember himself, there is hope for him to return home. If we are talking about small children, then there is little hope for them to return home. Some of them will never learn the truth about themselves and what happened to them.

The Ukrainian Child Rights Network considers it its duty to develop and implement a set of measures for the return home of Ukrainian children taken and deported by the russian authorities. And also, together with Ukrainian and international partners, to document cases of forced deportations to the territory of the russian federation and belarus, committed during the Russian armed aggression against Ukraine.

The goal is to restore the rights and protect Ukrainian children who have been forcibly removed and deported by the aggressor, in accordance with the norms of Ukrainian and international law by developing and implementing a set of measures for family reunification.

Target Audiences:

1) children deported to Russia from residential institutions;

2) children whose parents died in the TOT, who are in the TOT or were taken to Russia;

3) injured children are in medical facilities and are wanted;

4) children who were taken to camps for rest and rehabilitation;

5) children of Ukrainian prisoners of war who remained with relatives at the TOT, whose parents cannot return them.

Geography: Kharkiv, Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson, Zaporizhzhia regions and other regions if necessary.

Grant Activities Description

Specifically, how would a potential grant be spent? What are you doing / providing? What is the expected budget?

Objectives/ activities

Create a system of search and emergency response to the requests of official representatives and families whose children were forcibly taken to the temporarily occupied territories (TOT), deported to the Russian Federation or to other countries.

1.1. Creation of a hotline for appeals by parents and families who are looking for children who have been deported

1.2. Creating a child/family search system:

1.2.1. Development of a specialized methodology and purchase of a monitoring and analytical platform for the introduction of the Stolen Ukrainian Children Tracker

1.2.2. Carrying out research and  analytical work.

1.2.4. Creating a chatbot

1.2.5. Chatbot promo campaign

1.2.5. Formation of a database of children/families in need of reunification

1.3. Documentation of crimes related to removal of Ukrainian children and transfer of information to competent authorities.

1.4. Description and publication of each detected case

Develop effective algorithms for reunification with families of deported and deported children.

2.1. Preparation of families for reunification:

2.1.1. Survey of living conditions and initial assessment of families’ needs.

2.1.2. Preparation of necessary documents/legal support.

2.1.3. Obtaining consultations from SSD specialists

2.1.4. Obtaining consultations of DMS specialists – remote registration of a travel document, etc.

2.1.5. Notary services.

2.1.6. Translation services.

2.2. Preparation and implementation of the reunification operation.

2.2.1. Logistic support – development of transfer routes, transport costs, meals, overnight stays in both directions

2.2.2. Mediation services.

2.2.3. Psychological support during the transfer

2.3 Conducting webinars for SSD – “Remote registration of guardianship” once every 2 months/2 hours.

Create and implement a system of support for children who have returned from TOT and deportation.

3.1. Assessing the needs of children and families after reunification/return.

3.2 Case management of families who need support for 3 months.

3.3. Providing support to children/families:

3.3.1. Ensuring the basic needs of children (food, clothing, household)

3.3.2. Provision of housing needs (payment of housing rent, etc.)

3.3.3. Provision of medical needs

3.3.4. Provision of educational needs (payment of tutors for 3 basic subjects, etc.)

3.3.5. Cache support

3.3.6 Psychological support 10 meetings/1 child.

3.4. Integration/adaptation activities for children/familie.

Develop and implement the communication campaign “It’s not scary to return your child home.”

4.1. Formation of a communication campaign plan.

4.2. Development of communication messages and ways of their effective delivery.

4.3. Development of a booklet/infographics.

4.4. Development of an inforolik.

4.5. Establishing cooperation with authorities, local self-government, CSOs of the regions.

4.6. Dissemination of materials – online, military civil administrations, communities, public organizations.

4.7. Preparation and placement of posts in social networks.

Develop mechanisms for family reunification/return of deported children to Ukraine based on the experience gained.

5.1. Conducting a workshop on the development of civil society recommendations on the identification and return of deported people/children based on the experience gained.

5.2. Development of a mechanism for identifying and returning deported people/children based on the experience gained.

5.3. Formation of a working group for the development of a draft law/other regulatory act

5.4. Development of a draft law/other regulatory act on approving the mechanism for identifying and returning deported children.

Conduct an advocacy campaign in support of the established mechanism for identifying and returning deported and deported children.

6.1. Formation of an advocacy campaign plan.

6.2. Online event/presentation of intermediate results regarding detected crimes of removal and deportation of children for society and stakeholders – 50 Sat.

6.3. Online event/discussion of the mechanism of detection and return of deported people/children based on the experience gained for society and stakeholders – 100 people

6.4. Creation of videos/infographics.

6.5. Preparation of project summary for stakeholders.

6.6. Preparation and publication of articles in all-Ukrainian mass media.

6.7. Preparation and placement of posts for social networks.

Key indicators

At least 160 deported children were identified.

Database of children/families in need of reunification

Family reunification of at least 12 children per month.

Action algorithm for the reunification of deported children with their families.

At least 20 families are accompanied.

50 children – basic needs met

10 families – housing needs are met

15 children – medical needs met

30 children – educational needs met

20 families – cash support

Every child has a meeting with a psychologist.

35% – 50% of children – psychological support in case of need.

A mechanism for identifying and returning deported children was created and approved.

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