Statement - War in Ukraine: Putting Children First
War is never compatible with childhood. Eurochild’s vision is that every child grows up happy, healthy, confident, and respected as an individual in their own right. Europe is experiencing a child protection emergency on an unprecedented scale. The war in Ukraine is testing the EU’s resolve to implement the Child Rights Strategy and the European Child Guarantee and allocate resources where they are most needed. At Eurochild, we see this as a momentum to further strengthen and harmonise child protection systems in Europe.
Since the invasion of Ukraine on 24 February 2022, Eurochild shifted its work to understand needs on the ground and to support the strengthening of systems for the ‘best interest of the child’. We set up ‘Open Spaces for Solidarity’ sessions to share information between members in Ukraine and across Europe. We created a HUB for useful information and resources. We shared members’ experiences and demands with decision-makers in the EU institutions. This statement is based on our collective engagement with members and allies.
Members across Europe highlight the lack of childcare and child psychologists to support Ukrainian children dealing with trauma. Before the war, there were still 100,000 children living in institutional care. Bordering countries are helping to evacuate these children via bilateral agreements with Ukraine, and Eurochild members are providing care and services on the ground.
Every Ukrainian child is affected by this war. But it does not only affect them. The war affects all children in Europe and can monopolise their hopes and dreams. At Eurochild, we stand against the invasion of Ukraine, and we continue our work to defend the right of every child, no matter their country of birth, to a safe, happy, and healthy childhood.