Six years of active fighting have had profound consequences on the lives of people in conflict-affected Donetska and Luhanska oblasts of eastern Ukraine. The conflict has severely weakened the protective environment around children in Ukraine making them even further vulnerable to violence, abuse, exploitation and neglect.
In this context, the CP AoR objective is to ensure a coordinated, predictable, accountable and effective response by humanitarian organizations to the child protection concerns stemming from the current conflict in Ukraine. CP AoR partners are working to rebuild the protective environment around children as well as to strengthen the resilience within the children themselves.
2021 Response plan in numbers
More than 500,000 boys and girls living along the within 20km of the “contact line” continue to be affected by armed conflict with direct threats to their physical integrity and mental wellbeing. The majority of those children are in need of psychosocial support. In addition, the repeated shelling of critical infrastructure, including schools, threatens access to education and social services. Meanwhile, weakened family and community support mechanisms, daily stressors and loss of hope for the future continue to cause distress for children and their caregivers and, in some instances, result in child neglect and abuse cases. According to reports by child protection sub-cluster partners, this is due to the fact that caregivers highly affected by stress and hardships often lack coping mechanisms, positive parenting skills, thus, failing to ensure the nurturing and caring environment for their children. Furthermore, ongoing hostilities and economic hardships have led to increased family and gender-based violence where children are either victims of witnesses or the violence. While protection of children’s rights, responding to gender-based violence and family violence are parts of the national policies and strategies, currently limited services exist for child witnesses or survivors of violence, including in the conflict-affected areas. Besides, existing community services are often understaffed and cannot effectively respond to the problems of children and their families. Therefore, affected children and families urgently require ongoing psychosocial support and strengthening of the protection and social services.
The Protection Cluster objectives specifically target conflict-affected people, including IDPs, and prioritise those with specific needs, such as people with disabilities, persons with chronic illnesses and serious medical conditions, older persons, single-headed female households, survivors of gender-based violence (GBV), children and people experiencing socioeconomic hardship.Due to the nature of protection activities and the need to pay particular attention to people residing in NGCA and IDPs living throughout the country, these objectives are geographically crosscutting. The objectives focus on strengthening protection and social cohesion through prevention and mitigation of rights’ violations and community-based protection for conflict-affected people support IDPs in identifying durable solutions, improving resilience of conflict-affected people as well as systems of service provision.