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A statement by the partners of Canada’s War Crimes Program on the conflict in Ukraine

Press Release

In response to the atrocities unfolding in Ukraine, Canada’s Crimes Against Humanity and War Crimes Program (War Crimes Program) is working closely with national and international partners as part of the collective, global effort to assist those in Ukraine fleeing the invasion of Russian forces.

The War Crimes Program is delivered jointly by four partners – the Department of Justice (Justice Canada), the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA), and Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). The goal of the Program is to deny safe haven in Canada to persons believed to have committed or been complicit in war crimes, crimes against humanity or genocide and to seek accountability for their conduct. To that end, the partners work together to oversee the detection and investigation of individuals alleged to have committed such crimes anywhere in the world.

We are aware of the serious allegations that war crimes and crimes against humanity are being committed as part of the Ukraine-Russian conflict. War crimes and crimes against humanity include some of the most heinous acts committed across the globe. The partners of Canada’s War Crimes Program are committed to ensuring allegations of such crimes in Ukraine are documented, investigated and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law, and to holding those involved in these crimes accountable for their actions.

Under the purview of the War Crimes Program, the RCMP has launched a national structural investigation into allegations of war crimes and crimes against humanity committed in Ukraine. The RCMP is the only law enforcement entity in Canada with the mandate to investigate such crimes.

Together, program partners are working to ensure that important information and evidence is gathered from Ukrainians entering Canada who wish to provide it, and properly documented and secured for future criminal investigations. It is essential that such information be collected and protected at the earliest opportunity, to ensure it is not lost with the passage of time and to preserve crucial evidence for future prosecutions.

A website has been launched to provide Ukrainians entering Canada with information about this national investigation and how they can share information. Information will also be available starting this week at Canada’s main ports of entry by air, and through non-governmental organizations and community groups providing assistance to Ukrainians.

The War Crimes Program supports Canada’s commitment towards international justice and the fight against impunity for genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes. It also protects the integrity of Canada’s immigration and refugee policies by not extending rights and privileges to persons who have committed or have been complicit in these crimes.

For more information on Canada’s War Crimes Program, visit: https://www.justice.gc.ca/eng/cj-jp/wc-cdg/inter.html.

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