New attacks on cities show no safe place for children in Ukraine
Recent airstrikes on towns across Ukraine show there is no safe place in the country for children, Save the Children said today. It is now more urgent than ever that parties to the conflict agree to an immediate cessation of hostilities, as the best way to protect children from violence, the child rights organization said.
Seven civilians were reportedly killed and eight injured, including a child, in airstrikes in L’viv on Monday (Ukrainian time). Meanwhile, in Kyiv, which has seen relative calm for the past few weeks, fresh airstrikes took place over the weekend, leading the city’s mayor to advise residents who had fled the capital earlier in the escalation of the conflict not to return.
Conflict erupts in eastern Ukraine, with reports of further deaths from airstrikes in Kharkiv yesterday, which was Orthodox Palm Sunday in the country. This follows the death of at least 10 people, including a 15-year-old boy and a baby, and 35 injuries in strikes on the city on Friday.
This new wave of violence comes on top of the latest official UN figures released on April 15, reporting a total of 4,633 civilian casualties – dead and injured – across the country, including 418 children.
Save the Children Ukraine Country Director Pete Walsh said:
“With each new incident in Ukraine, the country becomes less safe for children. The attacks of the last few days remind us loud and clear: there is no safe place here for children, and the situation changes from day by day.
“Two-thirds of children across the country have now been uprooted from their homes. When there is aerial bombardment, children on the move, without shelter or shelter, are more vulnerable. Some children in Ukraine have lived for eight years in the conflict.
“Our colleagues are already reporting signs of severe psychological distress in the children they serve across the country. The longer this lasts, the worse it will get. Ending the abuse now is the only way to keep children safe and from harm. bring crucial humanitarian aid to those who desperately need it. »
- Save the Children has been operating in Ukraine since 2014. Throughout the eight years of conflict, we have provided essential humanitarian aid to children and their families, including winter kits and hygiene kits, and provided cash grants. species to families. Our specialists help children access safe, inclusive and quality education and work with schools and community centers to help children overcome the mental and psychological impacts of their experiences of conflict and violence.
- Save the Children Poland is coordinating with local partners to assess the situation and respond to needs. Save the Children is working here to establish family tracing and reunification procedures with other agencies to help reunite children with their extended family and friends in Poland and neighboring countries, as well as to establish systems child protection and reporting mechanisms to keep children safe.
- In Romania, Save the Children staff and volunteers continue to assist refugees arriving from Ukraine at the border and in reception centers with basic non-food items and other outreach services.
- For many years now, Save the Children has been working with refugee and migrant children inside and outside Europe, with the aim of supporting vulnerable children with the greatest needs. We run drop-in centers offering child-friendly activities and work to inform children about their rights in Germany, Spain, the Netherlands, Sweden, Italy and Norway. In Italy, we also support relocation efforts, train temporary legal guardians who assist children during their asylum procedures, and work with UN agencies to ensure the protection of unaccompanied children. In Denmark, we have set up child-friendly spaces, and have launched a website called “warm welcome” in Denmark (Tag Godt Imod in Danish), where professionals, teachers, people working in nurseries, volunteers, parents and individual hosts can find information and advice on how to work with refugee children. We are also carrying out a needs assessment to better understand the needs of refugees arriving in the country. In Switzerland, we sent 2,000 family kits to refugee shelters including educational books, coloring books, pencils as well as stress management tips in Ukrainian and Russian for parents. We have developed a checklist for conducting minimum protection standards assessments (on site visits) of temporary shelters, with a focus on the physical safety of children and the most urgent and minimum protection standards. On-site inspections will begin next week. We are working on information material on child protection for staff working in reception centers that combine host families and families from Ukraine.
- Save the Children New Zealand has raised nearly $1.3 million to help support the global response for children affected by the Ukraine crisis.
On Save the Children NZ:
Save the Children works in 120 countries around the world. The organization responds to emergencies and works with children and their communities to ensure they survive, learn and are protected.
Save the Children NZ currently supports international programs in Fiji, Cambodia, Bangladesh, Laos, Nepal, Indonesia, Thailand and Mozambique. Areas of work include education and literacy, disaster risk reduction and child poverty reduction.
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