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Forced evacuation of children: why is needed and how to work it?

March 9, 2023, 16:29 177 helsinki.org.ua On March 7, the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine approved the mechanism of forced evacuation of children from active combat zones.

The Ministry of Reintegration of the Temporarily Occupied Territories of Ukraine announced the relevant decision. And Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk took this issue under personal control. How will the removal of children take place and whether such coercion is not a violation of the rights of parents - said the deputy head of the analytical department of Ukrainian Helsinki Union for human rights Aksana Filipishyna .

On March 7, the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine approved the mechanism of forced evacuation of children

Evacuation in Donetsk region. Photo: State Emergency Service of Ukraine

- I absolutely approve of the decision that children should be forcibly removed from the dangerous zone. What does it mean? Parents cannot sign a waiver, they must decide whether both parents or one of them will accompany the child to the evacuation, says Oksana Filipishyna. - After all, in this case we are talking about the fundamental right of the child - the right to life. According to Article 155 of the Family Code of Ukraine, parents must not abuse their parental rights, they cannot act contrary to the interests of the child, and the child, due to his minor age, even if he wants to leave a dangerous territory, but his parents prevent him from doing so, cannot exercise his right to preservation of life and health.

Currently, mandatory evacuation is accepted only in the Donetsk region. And only the city of Bakhmut falls under the relevant criteria for the application of forced removal of children.

- If the parents refuse to leave, they can entrust the accompanying of the child to another person. Because the very form of mandatory evacuation involves explaining to the parents about the possibility of handing over the child if they cannot accompany them themselves, - explains Oksana Filipishyna.

The time, place and method of evacuation will be determined by the military administration, having previously made a decision with the approval of the Coordination Headquarters and the military.

- The Coordination Headquarters includes all the heads of administrations, and when a decision is made on mandatory evacuation, not only the ways of removing the civilian population from the combat zone, but also their future placement are immediately discussed, - explains Oksana Filipishyna. - That is, specific settlements are offered to people.

We will remind you that the government strengthened the obligation to evacuate children as early as last summer, when changes were made to the Evacuation Procedure. However, at that time coercion was introduced in relation to children of orphans deprived of parental care and family-type children's homes.

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