The Dutch police, together with 23 other law enforcement agencies, used open-source information to locate eight missing Ukrainian children during an event coordinated by Europol.
The European Union’s law enforcement coordination agency hosted the gathering in January at their headquarters in The Hague to look into the whereabouts of Ukrainian children who have been illegally taken out of the country since the Russian invasion.
“Investigators from civil society and the police worked together to find online traces of Ukrainian children suspected to have been deported from occupied territories in Ukraine to the Russian Federation and Belarus,” Europol said in a statement.
Last year, the International Criminal Court in The Hague issued a warrant for the arrest of Russian president Vladimir Putin and one of his deputies, alleging his involvement in ‘the war crime of unlawful deportation of children’ from occupied Ukraine.
Kyiv has accused Russia of ‘stealing’ children from the besieged city of Mariupol and other areas, claiming some 16,000 children were deported to the Russian Federation in the year from February 2022. Independent investigators say at least 6,000 children have been taken to Russia, reports NOS.
The investigators used open source information to search for the missing children, including photos from social media.
The Dutch police said they were happy with the success of the project. “We did not expect that this first joint hackathon would immediately yield results,” Vincent Cillessen, of the International Crimes Team, told the AD.
The information about the missing children has been turned over to authorities in Ukraine.
Thank you for donating to DutchNews.nl.
We could not provide the Dutch News service, and keep it free of charge, without the generous support of our readers. Your donations allow us to report on issues you tell us matter, and provide you with a summary of the most important Dutch news each day.Make a donation