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June 4 - International Day of Innocent Children Victims of Aggression

Shining a Light on the Innocent:
International Day of Innocent Children Victims of Aggression

Each year on June 4th, the world unites to recognize the International Day of Innocent Children Victims of Aggression. This significant observance, established by the United Nations, highlights the plight of children suffering from violence and abuse in conflict zones.

Since the beginning of the war in Ukraine, at least 550 children have been killed and more than 1,354 have been injured (according to the Children of War website). These numbers are likely higher. More than 1,700 educational institutions were damaged. 180 of them were completely destroyed. 36 medical institutions were hit (according to UNICEF).

Since the beginning of the war in Ukraine, over 30,000 children have been deported from its occupied territories. According to children who ended up in Russian shelters and later returned to Ukraine, they were simply taken away from their parents or other family members (adult brothers or sisters).

It is also documented that 2,442 children and teenagers from southeastern Ukraine have crossed into Belarus.

The most notable actors in these deportations include the Alexei Talay Foundation, OJSC Belaruskali, and the Red Cross and Red Crescent representative office.

The Belarusian Research Center asserts that Alexander Lukashenko, the self-proclaimed leader of Belarus, personally finances the deportation of children from Ukraine.

Researchers cite funding from the Union State's budget and the Talay Foundation's appeals for financial assistance from government bodies. Additionally, the foundation frequently fundraises or provides aid to children from the Donbass region via its Instagram page.

The removal of children from the Russian-occupied territories of Ukraine is also funded by the Union State's budget, as revealed in a study by the Belarusian Research Center. Since September 2022, approximately $500 thousand has been allocated for such "humanitarian assistance," including efforts to "recover Ukrainian children in Belarus."

According to testimonies from children and researchers at the Yale Institute, initially, children are sent to filtration camps on Russian territory, and later, to Belarus as well. The children are pressured, re-educated, and indoctrinated with the ideology of the "Russian world."

Eleven-year-old Ilya from Mariupol claims that a doctor allowed him to say "Glory to Ukraine," but only if he added "Glory to Ukraine as part of the Russian Federation."

In Belarus, children are taken on excursions to the Police Academy, to military unit 3214 in Minsk, known for its involvement in the brutal suppression of protests, and to sports events featuring Alexander Lukashenko.

Furthermore, predecessors of the Yale Institute's Center for Humanitarian Research claim that six groups of Ukrainian children underwent military training at Belarusian internal troops' bases.

Children from Ukraine are mainly placed in four Belarusian camps: "Dubrava" camp, "Ostroshitsky Gorodok" sanatorium, "Zubrenok" educational and recreational center (all in the Minsk region), and "Golden Sands" sanatorium in the Gomel region.

Since the fall of 2022, more than two thousand children may have stayed in these camps. According to some reports, there are up to 13 locations, but they are not named.

Alexander Lukashenko claims that all children who ended up in Belarus from Ukrainian territories have returned home. Experts cannot confirm the return of even ten of them, but neither do they deny it.

In March of last year, the International Criminal Court issued an arrest warrant for the President of the Russian Federation and the Commissioner for Children's Rights, Maria Lvova-Belova.

In July 2023, the European Parliament's Committee on Foreign Affairs called on the International Criminal Court to issue an arrest warrant for Alexander Lukashenko due to his involvement in the abduction of children from the occupied regions of Ukraine.

The situation is no better in Belarus itself, where children of political prisoners come under pressure from the state only because their parents were civic or political activists. The child of Ihor and Daria Losik was deprived of his parents only because his mother fought for the fate of her husband - blogger and journalist Ihor Losik. Also, the children of Antonina Kanavalava, campaign activist Sviatlana Tsikhanouska, participant of the "Country for Life" movement, and her husband were also left without parents and were forced to leave together with their grandmother, they are now in Warsaw.

Only two cases out of a hundred families are cited.

The child is also subject to pressure on the mother, especially for political prisoners. Women are threatened that their children will be persecuted or imprisoned, or their minor children will be taken from them if they do not cooperate with the investigation. There are cases when a prosecutor or an employee of a guardianship institution comes to a woman in a pre-trial detention center and informs her that the procedure for alienating her parental rights has begun, or that she has already been deprived of them.

Some children stay either with guardians (which can be, for example, grandmothers and aunts) or with one of their parents and go abroad with them, where they have to adapt, continue their education, but do not always understand where their mother is. They keep in touch with parents only by correspondence. But there are cases when children think that their mother is dead, and someone else writes letters for her. Now not everyone knows the handwriting of relatives.

According to the guardianship procedure, if none of the relatives of the repressed or close friends of the family declare their intention to take custody of the child, then the children are first sent to a social and pedagogical center, and then transferred to shelters and other educational institutions.

Hundreds of children are waiting for their imprisoned parents, but their return to the family will be a rather complicated procedure, especially for those who were left without both parents and are in Belarus and have not been handed over to a guardian. After all, parents must receive a certificate stating that they seem to have recovered and are able to provide for their children and raise them.

We must act NOW! Here’s how you can make a difference immediately:

  • Spread the Word: Amplify the horrors faced by child victims of aggression on your social media platforms, at your workplace, and within your community. Silence is complicity—raise your voice and make it impossible for the world to ignore!
  • Pressure the Authorities: Write to your government representatives demanding they take robust measures to protect these children and hold perpetrators accountable. Sign petitions and join public demonstrations.
  • Volunteer Your Time: Join organizations actively working to defend children’s rights and provide humanitarian aid. Your hands-on support can change lives.
  • Aid Affected Families: Offer support to families devastated by conflict. This can be financial assistance, legal help, or simply showing care and solidarity.

Every action counts. Your proactive stance can change a child's life, restoring hope and a chance for a better future.

Do not remain indifferent! Help restore their stolen childhoods.

The time to act is NOW!


1. The platform "Children of War" created on behalf of the Office of the President of Ukraine.

2. Belarus Investigative Center "Who takes Ukrainian children to Belarus?" (

3. Deutsche Welle (DW) 20.06.2023: "Лукашенко поддержал депортацию украинских детей. Что дальше?"

4. press-release "Significant increase in number of children killed across Ukraine this year, as deadly attacks continue"

5. SWI Switzerland - News and perspectives: "Outrage over Belarus Red Cross’s involvement in Ukrainian child transfers" - SWI

6. UN International Day of Innocent Children Victims of Aggression 4 June

#ProtectChildren   #StopAggression   #HumanRights

#ActNow   #SaveTheChildren   #StandWithUkraine

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Women political prisoners in Belarus

Your contribution helps to make human rights violations public and to provide humanitarian aid.

Thank you very much for your support!