September 27, 2023

Ukraine launches information campaign in Russia to return deported Ukrainian children

As part of the implementation of the Bring Kids Back UA action plan approved by President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, the "If You Know, Tell" information campaign was launched to motivate people living in Russia to oppose the forced deportation of Ukrainian children and to facilitate the return of young Ukrainian citizens to Ukraine.

The information campaign is being implemented by FREEDOM TV channel in partnership with the Advisor – Commissioner of the President of Ukraine for Children's Rights and Child Rehabilitation and the Juvenile Police of Ukraine.

The "If You Know, Tell" campaign aims to provide systemic coverage and explanation to residents of the Russian Federation of the criminal nature of the forced displacement of children. In addition, the campaign aims to provide individuals in Russia who have information about deported Ukrainian children with the opportunity to inform Ukraine about them. The campaign will result in the provision of information to domestic institutions dealing with the return of Ukrainian children to their homeland about the location and circumstances of their stay in the Russian Federation.

To this end, FREEDOM TV channel, which targets Russian-speaking viewers outside Ukraine, will air informational videos, stories, special projects and sections primarily aimed at the audience living in Russia.

"We can't give the children back their childhood, but we have to give them back their home. All of them. The return of abducted children to Ukraine is our absolute priority. This is a matter of their well-being and, at the same time, restoration of justice. Because those who abduct our children and those who illegally adopt them are equally committing a crime. They are participating in genocide. Accountability for this has no statute of limitations. I think not all Russians realize this, and they need to be explained the consequences of such actions. That is why our project is both a way to bring back as many children as possible and a chance for Russians to avoid complicity in a crime against humanity," said Daria Zarivna, Advisor to the Head of the Presidential Office, Chief Operating Officer of Bring Kids Back UA.

As emphasized by Daria Herasymchuk, Advisor – Presidential Commissioner for Children's Rights and Child Rehabilitation and coordinator of Bring Kids Back UA, Ukraine is currently seeking and implementing all possible ways to return Ukrainian children home to their families.

"We have no right to wait for these children to grow up. We cannot waste time while the Russians are taking away our children's nationality and origin. We will not hope for the emergence of new mechanisms, but will look for our own effective ways to return the children," she explained.

A special channel for feedback and a telegram chat "I'm here" (@ia_tuut) are available on FREEDOM digital platforms to provide information about deported Ukrainian children to law enforcement agencies of Ukraine. All persons who provide information through "If You Know, Tell" initiative are guaranteed anonymity. The information received is automatically transferred to the relevant law enforcement agencies of Ukraine.

"To return children to Ukraine, we need to have information about them. Now the children are scattered all over Russia, and it is extremely difficult for specialized Ukrainian or international organizations to collect data about them on the territory of the aggressor country. At the same time, FREEDOM channel has a large audience in Russia. Feedback often indicates that they would like to counteract these crimes, but do not know how and are afraid of being punished. So, in cooperation with the Commissioner of the President of Ukraine for Children's Rights and Child Rehabilitation and the Juvenile Police of Ukraine, we are giving them this opportunity to help us return our children," said Yuliia Ostrovska, Director General of Multimedia Foreign Broadcasting Platform of Ukraine state enterprise, which incorporates FREEDOM TV channel.