OSCE – Invocation of the Moscow Mechanism to address the deportation of Ukrainian children in the Russian war of aggression in Ukraine (30 March 2023)


In view of the extremely serious impacts of Russia’s aggression against Ukraine on Ukrainian civilians, and particularly on children, on March 30, 2023, 45 OSCE participating States, including France, invoked the OSCE’s Moscow Mechanism. This mechanism is designed to investigate allegations of serious violations of OSCE commitments and to identify actions to rectify them.

This independent expert mission would draw from the findings of the two Moscow Mechanism reports published on April 13 and July 14, 2022, concerning human rights violations and violations of international humanitarian law in Ukraine; those reports contained credible accounts of Russia’s forced transfer and deportation of Ukrainian civilians, including unaccompanied children.

The mission will be tasked with examining and drafting a report on (i) current concerns that are seen as particularly serious threats to compliance with OSCE Human Dimension Commitments, and (ii) the facts and circumstances surrounding any human rights violations or abuses, as well as any war crimes or crimes against humanity associated with or resulting from the forced transfer of children from parts of Ukraine that are temporarily controlled or occupied by Russia and/or their deportation to Russia.

France remains firmly committed, together with Ukraine and the Ukrainians, its international partners and international courts, to combating impunity for the perpetrators of these crimes. The report’s conclusions will be provide input to ongoing investigations with the goal of formally establishing legal and political responsibilities for abuses committed on Ukrainian soil.

France reiterates its strong condemnation of Russia’s serious human rights violations and violations of humanitarian law, and of its illegal and unjustified military aggression against Ukraine.