According to Filippo Grandi, at that time, Russia was offering these kids for adoption to Russian families.
He said that the UNHCR will work to gain access to the impacted parties and try to identify solutions that would be beneficial for them.
However, Mr. Grandi said he was unaware of the number of kids that were impacted.
“You cannot tell if youngsters have families or guardians in a time of war. Therefore, until it is made clear, you cannot change their nationality or arrange for another family to adopt them “explained Mr. Grandi.
Nearly three million Ukrainian refugees have been registered in Russia, more than in any other European nation, according to the most recent UNHCR figures. How many of these are children is unknown.
An aide to the Ukrainian president said earlier this month that around 14,000 children from the seized territories of Ukraine had been “deported” to Russia, accusing that country of kidnapping them. The claims have been refuted by the Kremlin.
According to Mr. Grandi, the UNHCR is constantly requesting access to Russia, but up until now, such requests have been “rare, sporadic, and not unrestricted.”
His remarks come after the top human rights officer for the UN raised worry in July that Ukrainian children had been “forcibly transferred” to Russia after being seized from orphanages in the eastern Donbas region. Another worry was that Moscow was accelerating this procedure by “changing current legislation.”
At the time, Michelle Bachelet stated that she was unable to validate the claims or the number of children who might have been impacted.
Then in September, the assistant secretary-general for human rights of the UN claimed that there were “credible claims” of “forced transfers of unaccompanied children to Russian occupied territory, or to the Russian Federation itself.”
The world admires you because you are powerful people, Mr. Grandi told the locals at the conclusion of a six-day visit to Ukraine.
As it did the year before, he acknowledged that it was feasible for more refugees to return to Ukraine during the summer, but he cautioned that more violence may result in even more displacement, particularly within Ukraine.
In addition, Mr. Grandi offered a gloomy picture of the future of migrants around the world, saying that the current estimate of 103 million refugees will “almost surely” increase in the years to come.