Statement by Deputy Permanent Representative Gennady Kuzmin at UNSC "Arria-formula" meeting “Addressing challenges of children without parental care in conflict settings”
Thanks a lot, Vietnam. Thanks, briefers.
Children, - as such, – are the most vulnerable group of population in a situation of armed conflict. Children deprived of parental care – are vulnerable doubly. They are facing serious long-term physical, social, psychological and emotional harm with consequences that often last a lifetime. These children are also more likely to experience violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation.
National governments play a paramount role in protecting and rehabilitating children in armed conflict. They must redouble child protection efforts, including the social services for vulnerable children and families. Many states involved in armed conflicts are making significant steps to improve the situation of children. However they need the support of the international community.
The situation in a number of countries in the Middle East and Africa remains extremely difficult. Syrian Arab Republic continues to face an illegal external interference and a flood of terrorists groups. Thousands of children, including children without parental care, are held for a prolonged time in appalling conditions in camps outside the territories controlled by the Government. Angela Marshall was pretty eloquent on this matter. Thank you very much for that.
A number of countries do their best to help innocent young victims of war. Since September 2019 215 children from Syria and 122 children from Iraq were repatriated to the Russian Federation. No child was sent to orphanage, all live in families. Doctors and psychologists assist children to adapt and to return to peaceful life.
States have the duty under international law, including Convention on the Rights of the Child, to repatriate their nationals and ensure their safe return home. Moreover, States are under obligation to act in the best interest of the child. The policy of collective punishment, application of unilateral coercive measures, introduction of financial sanctions, different types of embargoes is inconsistent with human behavior of a responsible government.
We are sure, Mr.Chair, there's urgent need to discuss possible ways to address difficulties and challenges facing children.
The Russian Federation is ready to work together to collectively protect children in armed conflicts, including children without parental care.