War in Ukraine

Children and families in Ukraine face unimaginable fear and destruction. Childhoods are abruptly disrupted. Families are torn apart. Millions of Ukrainian children risk growing up without the care they need, now more than ever.  

Donate

The war in Ukraine is disrupting the lives of millions of children, denying their human rights, and driving families apart. The situation is particularly desperate for children who lack parental care, and many more children are at risk of losing it. An entire generation of children risk growing up without the care they need.

OUR RESPONSE

 

SOS Children’s Villages has launched an emergency programme to support 177 children and families in SOS Children's Villages programmes, as well as the many thousands of children in foster care, kinship care, boarding schools and residential institutions.

Our regional Ukraine emergency response and longer-term actions are:

  • Immediate support to children - and their families – in foster, kinship care and state residential institutions. Some 80 children and their foster parents supported by SOS Children’s Villages in Ukraine have been relocated to SOS Children’s Villages in Poland. Efforts are now underway, in cooperation with local partner organizations, to provide food, supplies, psychosocial support, and relocation of other children in state residential institutions, as well as in foster and kinship care families.
  • Aid to refugees. Teams in neighbouring countries, including SOS Children’s Villages Poland and SOS Children’s Villages Romania, are scaling up efforts to receive refugees.
  • Strengthen families in the future. In the long-term, we will work with partners to support families to recover and rebuild. 

URGENT ACTION NEEDED TO PROTECT AND CARE FOR CHILDREN

 

The war has shattered the child protection system in Ukraine. Among the most at risk are the almost 100,000 children in institutions such as orphanages and boarding schools. It was an established fact, even before the war, that institutional care can harm children’s wellbeing and development, as it lacks the nurturing care and emotional support of a family environment. Under the current crisis, institutions are becoming alarmingly understaffed and challenged to provide primary care, psycho-social support, and assistance to children with disabilities. As a result, children in these settings are exposed to a heightened risk of violence and neglect and are isolated with very low chances to be evacuated.

We appeal for an immediate cessation of hostilities until a ceasefire has been negotiated. We ask to prioritize the care and protection of children and the respect of their human rights

We also call on the international community and like-minded partners to join hands to ensure that children who have lost parental care and those at risk of losing it keep safe and receive the dedicated care they need.

We believe interventions should focus on the following five priorities:

 

  • Maintenance of humanitarian corridors and enforcement of the rules of international humanitarian law in armed conflicts that are relevant to children
  • Immediate evacuation of children in institutions on the frontline in between the conflicting armed forces in Ukraine.
  • Provision of vital humanitarian aid, including mental health and psycho-social support to children affected by the war and their families or alternative care professionals, both within the Ukrainian territory and neighbouring countries.
  • Provision of refuge and quality emergency care to all children and adults fleeing the war.
  • Medium to long term plans for children to access their right to quality care and protection, both in Ukraine and in countries receiving displaced children. This includes reconstruction of disrupted child protection, alternative care and education systems.

 

The full position statement, with our key asks for interventions in the Ukraine crisis can be downloaded here.

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