24 February 2023

A year has passed since the escalation of the conflict in Ukraine, which has affected and displaced millions of children. Despite the international community’s repeated calls for the withdrawal of Russian troops from Ukraine, the plight of children and young people caught in this atrocious war remains with little end in sight.

Children are among the most vulnerable in times of war, with their fundamental rights consistently violated: they face unimaginable fear, risk their lives or being physically and psychologically harmed, as well as risk being separated from their families and facing the horrors of war, alone. Those children who must endure war without the protection of a family face even more risks of going missing, being exploited, abused or trafficked. Their well-being, and access to protection and care must be a priority for European and national authorities.

Drawing on lessons from the past year, the undersigned European civil society organisations advocating for the rights of children from Ukraine and beyond, address to European and national authorities our recommendations to ensure all children affected by the war receive the care and protection they need to remain safe and healthy.

Above all else, we call on the international community to urgently work towards cessation of hostilities, intensifying diplomatic efforts in this regard, so all children can live in peace, again.

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