Ukraine – March 2 2022

Statement from SOS Children’s Villages

Children and families in Ukraine face unimaginable fear and destruction

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Childhoods are abruptly disrupted. Families are torn apart. Parents face unbearable choices. Millions of children risk growing up without the care they need, now more than ever.

SOS Children’s Villages calls for an immediate cessation of hostilities until a ceasefire has been negotiated.

Ukraine’s 7.5 million children are in immediate danger and need the world’s full support.

Every child has a right to grow and develop in a safe and secure environment. Every child has the right to have parents or dedicated caregivers by their side. The need is even stronger when the world crumbles around them.

Children are being separated from their families right when they need them most. Some parents are on the front line; others see no other choice than to flee the country with their children but are often forced to leave one or more family members behind.

Ukraine has more than 160,000 children growing up outside their families of origin, in foster care, kinship care, and residential care. As the situation progresses, many more children and young people risk being on their own, in need of alternative care.

Since 2003, SOS Children’s Villages has been on the ground in the Ukraine. For years, we have been one of the few organizations working on both sides of the contact line, in the Luhansk region in Eastern Ukraine. We have local operations in neighbouring countries, including Poland and Romania, who receive and support families and children fleeing across the border.

SOS Children’s Villages was founded to support children who lost everything during the Second World War in Europe. Beyond providing shelter and food, SOS Children’s Villages focuses on building the trust and warmth of strong human connections. Our experience across the globe has taught us how important it is for children to have strong bonds with family and communities to face the most horrible situations.

War leaves a heavy toll on children and violates their human rights to grow safely in a nurturing environment.

In line with their obligations under international humanitarian law to protect the civilian population, we ask all parties to take all feasible measures to ensure the protection and care of children who are affected by an armed conflict, as stipulated by the Convention of the Right of the Child.

We ask everyone involved in the war in Ukraine to immediately stop the hostilities and rapidly reach a resolution of conflict.

Urgent measures must be taken to protect and care for all affected children and families. This includes special support for children in foster or kinship care, and support for refugees at borders and in neighbouring countries.

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