The UN has called for the protection of children who leave Ukraine unaccompanied by adults

In a few days, more than a million people left Ukraine, including hundreds of thousands of children. Some minors cross the border unaccompanied by adults or are separated from their families along the way.

In this case, children may become victims of violence and exploitation. This is stated in a joint statement by the head of UNICEF and the UN High Commissioner for Refugees.

Unaccompanied children

UNICEF President Catherine Russell and UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi call on all Ukraine’s neighbors and all countries affected by the conflict to admit and register such minors properly.  

The United Nations is proposing to provide safe refuge to young refugees arriving unaccompanied by adults, as well as to include them in its national child protection systems. The current crisis, according to the heads of UNICEF and UNHCR, calls for the urgent need to protect such minors from all forms of violence, as well as to help them reunite with their families.

The UN recommends that children who are unaccompanied by adults be placed temporarily in families or appropriate institutions that care for children under the auspices of public services.

Pupils of orphanages and boarding schools

The statement also states that almost a hundred thousand children live in orphanages and boarding schools in Ukraine. Many have guardians and close relatives.

UN agencies are receiving notifications of their intention to evacuate these children to neighboring countries and beyond. Recognizing that this may be necessary to ensure the safety of children in orphanages and boarding schools, the heads of UNICEF and UNHCR call for the consent of parents and guardians before the evacuation begins.  

The UN also reminds that the evacuation must be carried out in strict accordance with the instructions of the authorities, who must be warned about such a step. The authorities of the country of arrival must be notified immediately of the arrival of the children. For their part, UNHCR and UNICEF are working together to protect children in this crisis.

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