In November, representatives of Vostok SOS took part in the work of a round table at the International Criminal Court in the Hague.
Human rights organizations, together with investigative bodies of Ukraine and the world, are actively collecting evidence regarding the war crimes committed by the russian army against the residents of Ukraine. After collection, the information is transferred to competent authorities to bring criminals to justice.
The International Criminal Court is located in the Hague, and it was there that the coordinator of the documentation department, Natalia Kaplun, and the analyst, Olena Chernova, joined the discussions. The round table was devoted to the problem of documenting crimes committed against and involving children.
The event was held by the initiative of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, Mr. Karim Khan, and was aimed at improving cooperation between the court and representatives of public organizations. For two days, ICC prosecutors, experts in international humanitarian law, human rights defenders and representatives of humanitarian organizations from different countries of the world discussed current issues, as well as best practices for interaction with children during the recording of testimonies.
Ukraine was represented by two organizations – Vostok SOS and the Ukrainian Legal Advisory Group. Olena Chernova, Natalia Kaplun, Nadia Volkova and Alina Pavliuk talked about the situation in Ukraine and shared ideas for improving the justice system, in particular in the sector of crimes affecting children.
Almost every child who was in a combat zone currently has psychological trauma due to the experienced feeling of danger, the fear of losing loved ones and living in shelters without the necessary amount of food. The reason for the difficult humanitarian situation is the deliberate attacks of the russian army on critical civilian infrastructure, humanitarian headquarters, hospitals and schools. Vostok SOS documentaries recorded such situations in Mariupol, Severodonetsk and Lysychansk.
The trip to the Hague allowed Vostok SOS representatives to learn more about practices of documenting crimes against and involving children, as well as to see that even in the 21st century, children around the world are still not protected from the cruelty of adults.