We use cookies to collect and analyse information on site performance and usage to improve and customise your experience, where applicable. View our Cookies Policy. Click Accept and continue to use our website or Manage to review and update your preferences.

Kennedy KC leads bid to return displaced Ukrainian  children
Baroness Helena Kennedy KC

04 Oct 2023 / human rights Print

Kennedy KC in bid to return displaced children

A newly-formed high-level group of experts focused on returning forcefully deported children to Ukraine will be co-chaired by Baroness Helena Kennedy KC (pictured).

Kennedy is director of the International Bar Association’s Human Rights Institute (IBAHRI) and has been appointed by Andriy Yermak, head of the Ukraine President's Office, as co-chair of Bring Kids Back UA.


The objective of Bring Kids Back UA is to develop recommendations for an effective mechanism for the return of children deported from Ukraine during the ongoing war with Russia.

The group also aims to create a new, international legal basis for the protection of children’s rights in armed conflict.

Yermak said: “In my deep conviction, given your talent and experience, your work in this group will be a very big step and gain for Ukraine. We will be able to unite almost the whole world in this work.”

Human rights lawyer Baroness Kennedy KC said: “There is an urgent need to reunite abducted children with their relatives in Ukraine because the more time that passes the more difficult the task and estranged the children become.

“Children must be protected, particularly those in conflict situations where they are especially vulnerable.

UN mechanisms

“The requirement to establish a mechanism in line with international human rights standards is clear, as is the necessity for collaboration at international level among legal experts, organisations – including the United Nations – and states, which  must better enforce existing UN mechanisms on the protection of children in conflict.”

She added: “The children that have been reunited with their families on Ukrainian soil should be able to provide evidence of what happened while they were forcefully deported, which will be very useful. However, there remain many children in that situation in Russia. There is much work to be done and we should not delay. The individuals responsible for the unlawful deportation of these children must be held accountable.”

Article Five of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child states: “States Parties shall take all appropriate national, bilateral and multilateral measures to prevent the abduction of, the sale of or traffic in children for any purpose or in any form”.

Gazette Desk
Gazette.ie is the daily legal news site of the Law Society of Ireland