States must take primary responsibility for their protection and ensuring their safe return home, Russian Deputy Permanent Representative to the United Nations Gennady Kuzmin said
Russia’s deputy permanent representative to the UN, Gennady Kuzmin, said on Friday that the international community must save the lives and return home several tens of thousands of children from the El-Hol refugee camp in Syria.
“We call on the international community to take practical steps to protect the lives of innocent children. Let us recall that under international law, including the Convention on the Rights of the Child, States have an obligation to repatriate their citizens as well as to take steps to ensure that the children of their citizens do not become stateless. States must accept the primary responsibility of protecting such children and ensuring their safe return home”, – the diplomat said, speaking at the UN Security Council’s open Arria-formula videoconference on the “impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on violations committed against children in armed conflict”.
He said the UN said there were more than 31,000 children in the camp, with more than 6,000 deaths due to coronavirus infection already recorded there.
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“When we talk about children, we do not have the right to politicise the agenda, nor do we have the right to divide children into our own and others, into those whose parents are good and those whose parents are bad, those who live in government-controlled Syrian territories under unilateral sanctions, and other young Syrians. We need to do more to protect children, much more”, – he concluded.