On World Children’s Day 2022, celebrated on 20 November, a group of embassies and the EU Delegation in Ukraine expressed their deep concern at the long-lasting impact of Russia’s war of aggression on Ukraine’s children.
According to the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), Russia’s invasion has killed more than 400 children, and injured 750 as of mid-November. The true toll, says the statement released by embassies, “is likely to be significantly higher, not to mention the devastating and long-term impact on the mental health of the younger generation”.
In addition, hundreds of thousands of children have been forced to leave Ukraine, either as refugees to safe countries or through forced deportation to Russia and adoption there, sometimes without their parents’ knowledge.
“There is no doubt that every child in Ukraine is suffering because of Russia’s invasion. Indiscriminate Russian attacks have destroyed countless schools and disrupted education through attacks on Ukraine’s critical national infrastructure. Frequent power cuts prevent online learning,” says the statement. “In Russian-controlled areas, the Russia-imposed school curriculum propagates disinformation and teachers are punished for teaching in Ukrainian. Children suffer disproportionately from lack of power, heating, and water caused by Russian missile attacks.”
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