Today, Children’s Day is not taken as it used to. Protecting children in Ukraine has acquired a fundamentally new meaning. Unfortunately, our children live in difficult times – times of terrible war that brings grief, breaks families, destroys destiny, breaks lives. Anyway, children suffer most from war injuries. Thousands of children were forced to leave their towns, homes, thousands of them are orphaned, witnessed violence and death, are forced to live in frightful conditions, without the basic necessities of life.
Surely, children from Donbass were the first to be affected. Before the outbreak of hostilities in the Donetsk and Lugansk region lived almost one million children under 18 years. Now, there are almost 500,000 children in the ATO area, including 14,000 children with disabilities, more than 7000 orphans and children deprived of parental care.
Only 15% of children from Donbass are registered in the status of immigrants, according to the Ministry of Social Policy and the UN. And at the same time, during the last year in the Donetsk region more than 30 thousand children were born. Most of them have not received the official Ukrainian birth certificates as born in territories outside the control of Ukraine and, consequently, can not get social benefits provided by the state.
We know that in the territory not controlled by Ukrainian authorities boarding-schools continue to work. Despite the fact that all children deprived of parental care were evacuated on the territory under the control of Ukraine, these boarding-schools are filled with new orphans whose parents died or abandoned them because of the inability to feed. The majority of evacuated children are accommodated in boarding schools, although only 15% of them have the status of orphan or child deprived of parental care.
And how many children whose parents did not return from the ATO area? And how many children are waiting with fear that their father tomorrow will go there? How many children every day are at threat? How many children were combatants? Without exception, all 8 million of Ukrainian children are affected by war, and each of them will feel its impact for the whole life.
Now we face risks of increase of child neglect and homelessness, children and families in difficult straits who need help both psychological and financial.
The interests of children continue to be ignored by the state, basic rights of children are flagrantly violated, and the institution of the family is probably the least protected in Ukraine.
By virtue of volunteering, charitable and community organizations many problems of children are solved, for those being in the ATO area, as well as for displaced and those who have lost parents. That is why the Ukrainian Child Rights Network was created, in order to unite our efforts for children their rights and interests, and to increase the impact of NGOs on solving of pressing issues.
According to statistics and analytical data Humanitarian Staff “Help”