Human Rights House Foundation statement

HRC55 – Item 4 – Interactive Dialogue – Ukraine COI

19 March 2024

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Thank you President.

We thank the Commission for its work and today underscore the importance of ensuring the immediate return of Ukrainian civilians forcibly taken by Russia, amid its ongoing full-scale invasion of Ukraine.

The abduction and forced displacement of civilians represents a profound human rights crisis that demands urgent international attention and action. Such violations tear families apart, spread fear, and constitute war crimes that will have lasting effects on the social fabric of Ukraine.

The response to these actions must include clear and unequivocal calls for accountability, employing diplomatic pressure, and exploring all legal avenues to ensure justice for the victims and their families.

We must ensure that there is a comprehensive mechanism in place for documenting these violations, supporting the victims and survivors, and facilitating the reunification of families.

Finally, we highlight the growing number of people who are imprisoned by the occupying authorities, including as a result of their civil society and human rights work. We particularly draw attention to Ukrainian journalist, Iryna Danilovych, kept in dreadful conditions, and to Ukrainian researcher Olena Piekh who has been subjected to terrible forms of torture.


We ask the Commission: what are the key challenges to the safe return of Ukrainian civilians who have been abducted or forcibly displaced, and how can the international community and the Human Rights Council help to overcome them?

Thank you.