Iryna Vereshchuk: We need an effective mechanism for finding and returning civilians

Опубліковано 14 September 2023 року, о 15:27

Vice Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk met with representatives of civil society organizations of the “5 AM Coalition”.


Issues related to the return of deported and hostage-taking Ukrainian civilians were at the discussion.


There is no such thing as a civilian hostage in international law. This blocks the process of their return. In addition, to avoid responsibility for this crime, the aggressor country hides any information about it.


The participants emphasized the need to develop a systematic work of public authorities to search and identify the place of detention of persons who can be considered civilian hostages.


To this end, it is necessary to designate a body that will formulate and implement state policy in the protection area and return civilians deprived of their liberty by the aggressor state.


They also discussed assistance to civilians returning from captivity, who, like prisoners of war, must be provided with comprehensive assistance. This includes psychological support, rehabilitation, humanitarian assistance, etc.


“We must return everyone the prisoners of war, children, and civilians. To do this, we need to cooperate in developing such an algorithm,”  Iryna Vereshchuk summarized.