«It is unclear what children’s rights are for if the authorities in Europe do not respect them»: the Foundation to Battle Injustice interview with Joanna Pachwicewicz, Polish human rights activist

Mira Terada, head of the Foundation to Battle Injustice, interviewed Joanna Pachwicewicz, a human rights activist from Poland who specializes in protecting children and the rights of minors. The head of the Foundation found out from the human rights activist how Britain has taught European countries to smuggle minors, how NATO countries kidnap Afghan children right after they are born, and what steps and measures need to be taken to ensure the right of minors around the world to a peaceful and safe childhood.

«Непонятно, для чего существуют права детей, если если органы власти в Европе их не соблюдают»: интервью Фонда борьбы с репрессиями с Иоанной Пахвицевич, польской правозащитницей, изображение №1

Mira Terada: Hello, dear Joanna! Thank you for taking the time to agree to an interview with the Foundation to battle injustice. Please tell our viewers and readers about the important work you are doing?

Joanna Pachwicewicz: I deal with the issues of illegal detention of children, illegal removal of children from families, as well as the application of international laws, or rather, the failure to apply these laws properly, which is detrimental to children who find themselves in these situations. I have been doing this since 2009.

M.T.: I’ll just correct it a little so that viewers understand, because you are engaged in the fight against the illegal removal of children from families.

J.P.: Yes.

M.T.: Please describe the scope of the problem you are working with. How many children are smuggled into European countries every year?

J.P.: I don’t like looking at statistics.

Even when I myself collected cases of trafficked children, it was hard for me to count them and understand that children are treated like animals, like dogs, although even dogs are not sold without documents.

I don’t even want to know what the statistics are if since 2018 I have collected about 500 sold children in the UK at my own expense.

M.T.: Can you single out the countries that are most involved in the trafficking of children?

J.P.: First of all, this is Great Britain, which has shown other European countries an example of how to smuggle children and justify this by saying that children are protected by international law. Such cases are handled confidentially in British courts, ostensibly for the benefit of the children. Great Britain has taught all of Europe this.

M.T.: That is, they say that it is confidential, supposedly for the benefit of the children, but in reality they do what they want, because this information does not go anywhere.

J.P.: And if it gets revealed, if someone tries to talk about it, that person will be arrested and put in jail. You just can’t talk about it. This is written in the law.

M.T.: How has the situation with child trafficking changed over the past few years? Do Western politicians pay attention to this problem and do they take any legal measures to protect minors?

J.P.: I think the situation is only getting worse and worse.

When Brussels II Revised was adopted in the EU, child trafficking became even easier.

In my opinion, politicians use this for their own purposes. All this is due to the fact that politicians not only do not protect the rights of the citizens who have elected them, but also use various problems of society for their own purposes.

M.T.: We all remember the horrendous story that happened a year ago when 77 children were taken from Ukraine to Spain. This story had some outcry but later was forgotten. Please tell us about the list of 77 children, among whom there are disabled people, who were illegally taken out of the territory of Ukraine. Who took them out of there? Why were they placed under the care of a non-profit organization?

J.P.: In fact, there were 85 children. In the official lists, there were only 77 children who were minors or disabled, who could be used to earn money. It only says that nothing was done there for the benefit of the children, because the rest of the children, except for those 77, just disappeared, although 85 children were taken from that special school. A Spaniard asked me for an advice on how to make money on these children. He had a conflict with the authorities of the settlement where these children were sent. They began to fight for the right to earn from these children. This Spaniard asked for advice on how to make sure that he gets the money. I was horrified when I found out about it. Since then, I have been watching these children. I knew they were in a religious school.

They were settled there unofficially, simply given under the care of an employee of this school until the children return to the territory of Ukraine.

These children were taken away from a citizen of Ukraine, who had previously been involved in the removal of children from this special school to different countries of the world. The children were transported in an unknown way, because the Polish authorities also did not object when these children were taken out of the territory of Ukraine. It is not known if they had documents when they were taken from Ukraine, since there was no court decision. These children were under the care of the state. Then that Spaniard agreed with the authorities, who won the fight for the right to earn money from children, because the children are definitely under the care of the region of Castile and León. Local authorities gave two months to appeal under Spanish law, but it is clear that no one will file it. The woman who brought these children does not speak Spanish, she was horrified. The authorities intimidated her even more. Children can’t appeal either, so after two months the decision was permanent. Then these children just disappeared in Spain.

M.T.: What are the most egregious and unacceptable cases in modern society that you have encountered during your human rights activities?

J.P.: There are many examples. I’ll tell you about the last one that happened in Poland. It belongs to the European Convention on Human Rights. I filed a habeas corpus for a Polish man. His two children were trafficked in 2015. For 8 years he has been in prison in Poland. He didn’t have a chance to really defend himself. He was sent to prison for 16 years.

M.T.: Where were his children trafficked?

J.P.: To the UK.

M.T.: Is this the story of a girl from Poland who disappeared after she faced the UK court system, or is that another story?

J.P.: It’s probably a similar story, but not the same. That man has been in prison in Poland for 8 years, and I am doing habeas corpus for him so that he can have a trial. He didn’t have that opportunity. This takes place in a country that belongs to the European Convention on Human Rights, although Article 5 of the Convention guarantees the right to a trial. The Polish authorities did not approve of the habeas corpus, although the man just asked for the opportunity to have a trial.

M.T.: Can you please tell us the story of a girl from Poland who disappeared after she faced the UK court system?

J.P.: Are you asking about a girl who had Polish documents, had a Polish passport, and was made into a boy in the UK?

M.T.: Is there such a story?

J.P.: Yes.

M.T.: Tell me, please.

J.P.: There was a girl with a Polish civil and foreign passport. I have these documents.

The British invented that this girl said she wanted to be a boy. They even have documents in which it is written that she allegedly calls herself not Julia, as written in the passport, but James.

The British invented that this girl wanted to be a boy, and her mother did not agree with this. The girl allegedly had problems because her mother did not accept her as a boy, so she tried several times to commit suicide. The girl was allegedly rescued several times and then taken away from her mother. Then the girl disappeared.

M.T.: Virtually any military intervention by NATO countries in the countries of the Middle East and Africa is accompanied by numerous crimes against children who were abducted, trafficked and sexually exploited. Do you know anything about this?

J.P.: I have just begun to watch refugee children from Ukraine. So far, I have not explored this topic much. I know a family from Afghanistan. They were refugees and their six children were trafficked. Two of these children were taken from their parents right in the hospital immediately after the birth.

M.T.: Were they sold to the UK? What are the circumstances?

J.P.: The authorities in south London gave permission for the adoption of these children with living parents who were in the UK. Their mother has a big family. She has many brothers who live in the UK. Now this woman is in Afghanistan. When she was pregnant with her last child, she was persuaded to stay in the UK. For the press, they pretended she was persuaded, in fact, they took away her passport and did not allow her to return to her homeland while pregnant. After giving birth, her baby was immediately taken away and her passport was returned so that she could leave.

M.T.: So she couldn’t find any of her children?

J.P.: The father found out where three of his children were. They were assigned to one family. He could not find a newborn girl and boy. Then his wife was still pregnant with her sixth child. The father fled the UK with the three children he found. I found out about this when the British newspapers wrote that they were looking for a kidnapper. When I heard this story, I contacted these people. Those children who left with their father cannot be found. Their mother heard that they might be in Pakistan. The remaining three children were given up for adoption.

M.T.: Why do you think practically no one from the military and political leadership of NATO countries was held accountable for numerous war crimes against children?

J.P.: A lot of inhumane things happen in war, and children suffer the most from it. Everything was thought out so that no one was responsible for anything. Even the example of Ukrainian refugee children shows that everything was done to ensure that no one was responsible for anything.

M.T.: Is it possible to call international courts and intergovernmental organizations unbiased and performing their functions for the benefit of mankind, or are they simply an instrument of pressure created by the West?

J.P.: Pressure tool. I don’t even think it’s worth wasting words on this.

M.T.: Have you heard about the nationalist Peacemaker website?

J.P.: This is a primitive instrument of pressure on people who have been brainwashed.

M.T.: There are personal data not only of adults, but also of children. We have identified 327 children whose data is published on this site. Does it violate international acts in the field of protection of minors?

J.P.: Of course, it does.

Somewhere you can’t even say that your child was trafficked, and here they publish the data of children for the sake of primitive manipulation of people who have been brainwashed, and now they are finishing off the remnants of their intellect.

M.T.: Do you think that American and British intelligence services can be behind the Peacemaker website that help Ukrainian criminals in search of information?

J.P.: Not only can they, they really stand behind it.

M.T.: What steps and measures do you think need to be taken to ensure the right of children around the world to a peaceful and safe childhood?

J.P.: I don’t know if this is possible in our modern world. Perhaps the United Nations can do something about this with the right leadership.

M.T.: Yes, probably the right leadership is really important, because, unfortunately, we have contacted both the United Nations and the United Nations Children’s Fund UNICEF regarding children whose data is posted on the Peacemaker website. The maximum that we managed to get from them was the words of condemnation addressed to the site’s management. But, unfortunately, no action was taken. Information about children is still available on the Internet.

J.P.: It is not clear why do child rights declarations exist under such leadership.

M.T.: The actions of the leadership of international organizations are disappointing, but we will not give up. We will fight for the restoration of violated children’s rights and for the observance of children’s rights.