Ukraine

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The war in Ukraine, escalating since 24 February 2022 after weeks of heightened tensions, poses an immediate and growing threat to the lives and well-being of the country’s 7.5 million children. Humanitarian needs are multiplying rapidly as fighting intensifies. In this context, the CP AoR objective is to ensure an immediate and coordinated response by humanitarian organizations to the child protection concerns stemming from the current conflict in Ukraine.

Country Key Contacts

Stener Vogt

Coordinator svogt@unicef.org

Kateryna Martynenko

Coordinator/Information Management Officer kmartynenko@unicef.org

Overview

Humanitarian Situation & Coordination Mechanisms

Humanitarian situation

The war in Ukraine, escalating since 24 February 2022 after weeks of heightened tensions, poses an immediate and growing threat to the lives and well-being of children in Ukraine.

"One month of war in Ukraine has led to the displacement of 4.3 million children – more than half of the country’s estimated 7.5 million child population. This includes more than 1.8 million children who have crossed into neighbouring countries as refugees and 2.5 million who are now internally displaced inside Ukraine" per a 24 March 2022 UNICEF press release

Humanitarian needs are multiplying rapidly as fighting intensifies. Several major attacks are reported across the country, impacting the life of millions of people, including children who are among the most vulnerable populations and must be protected from harm. Children in Ukraine are exposed to traumatic experiences and emotional distress, separation from their families, and trafficking among other dangers. Children without parental care are at a heightened risk of violence, abuse and exploitation, with often greater risks for women and girls.  Additionally children have been killed or wounded.  "According to OHCHR, 78 children have been killed, and 105 have been injured in Ukraine since the start of the war...Yet these figures represent only those reports that the UN has been able to confirm, and the true toll is likely far higher."(Source: UNICEF 24 March 2022 Press Release)

For more on the needs and response within Ukraine, read the Ukraine Child Protection Sub-Cluster's Needs and Response Overview as of 23 March 2022. 

The Global Protection Cluster (GPC) has also published Protection Messages reflecting priority protection issues and gaps in Ukraine as of 8th March 2022.

Sign up here for UN OCHA Ukraine daily situation reports.  You may also view situation reports here

Child Protection Response

The Ukraine Child Protection Sub-Cluster under the leadership of the Government and relevant Ministries is prioritizing:  

  • Service mapping and updating referral pathways 
  • Understanding child protection partners’ needs
  • Gathering and analyzing key data to better understand the situation, needs, and gaps
  • Coordinating and supporting essential interventions, including mental health and psychosocial support, child helplines, support for children with disabilities and unaccompanied and separated children, including children in institutions, and other critical, life-saving actions
  • Establishing an Unaccompanied and Separated Children Task Force, co-led by UNICEF and Save the Children 

Visit the Ukraine Child Protection Sub-Cluster page for more details. Please note this page is currently being updated. 

The Ukraine Child Protection Sub-Cluster has recently produced: 

Overview of the Ukraine Child Protection Coordination & Response Mechanism

Within Ukraine, UNICEF is supporting the Ministry of Social Policy and other local authorities to coordinate child protection actions and respond to the crisis.  UNICEF is leading the Child Protection Sub-Cluster and collaborating with partners, the Protection Cluster, other Areas of Responsibility, and other sectors and actors in addition to the Government to ensure the urgent needs of affected children are addressed in a timely, safe, and appropriate manner.   Within the Child Protection Sub-Cluster, an Unaccompanied and Separated Children Task Force (UASC TF) has just recently been initiated, co-led by UNICEF and Save the Children. 

Outside of Ukraine, UNHCR, in direct coordination with government ministries, is leading on the overall refugee response and protection in particular, with UNICEF and UNHCR co-leading child protection coordination across several countries. 

How can I learn more about the crisis and available resources?

Several websites and resources are providing useful information.  See the featured resources and the table below for more details.  

The Global CP AoR is gathering resources in this dropbox folder, updated regularly.  If you are seeking resources or would like to contribute a resource, contact cp-aor@unicef.org

If you are a child protection actor seeking to connect with your peers across the region, please join the Global Child Protection in Humanitarian Action (CPHA) Community of Practice, where you can ask questions, share resources and practices, and engage with colleagues from several different countries.   A discussion post regarding relevant resources for the crisis is here: https://changemakersforchildren.community/group/child-protection-humanitarian-action/discussion/CP-Response-Ukraine.

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