The European Parliament sends a strong political message to address the specific plight of Children and young people fleeing the war in Ukraine

 

Strasbourg, 7 April 2022

 

The European Parliament adopted with an overwhelming majority a Resolution on the EU Protection of children and young people fleeing the war in Ukraine.

The Resolution – initiated by the Intergroup on Children’s Rights – features important provisions to address the specific plight of children and young people fleeing the conflict in Ukraine. It stresses to need for the creation of a robust registration system at the border, to track and monitor children, with a particular attention of unaccompanied children to ensure they do not go missing or worse, end up in the hands of traffickers. It also includes strong measures to for the integration of these children in the hosting countries granting them immediate access to education and health on equal footing with their EU national peers, so as to ensure all these children are given a real change to excel and reach their full potential.

This war in Ukraine is taking a huge toll on children and women, as well in terms of casualties. With such an unprecedented number of children crossing to the EU, they are at heightened risk of being trafficked and disappear. We cannot tacitly accept this brutal violence against children at the hands of adults. With this Resolution, this House sends a strong united message and sets specific recommendations to address the needs of children and young people fleeing the war, with a particular attention of vulnerable children. We must protect these children so that they do not end up in the hands of traffickers” – said MEP Hilde Vautmans (Renew, Belgium), Co-Chair of the Intergroup on Children’s Rights, Renew Europe spokesperson on this Resolution.

Children and women account for 90% of all people fleeing Ukraine. Over 168 children have been killed since the beginning of the war. More than 2.5 million children internally displaced in Ukraine, and 2.000 children have already gone missing.

The images of civilians brutally killed at the hands of the Russian army, and the atrocities suffered by civilians, mark one of the lowest and darkest moments of the recent European history. The stakes are high: there is an entire generation of children on the line.  

This Resolution is a comprehensive and far-reaching tool, spanning from specific recommendations on the border management, reception conditions & vulnerable children, relocation, family reunification to specific measures for integration of children and young people fleeing the war, once they reach the EU. It is key we register children at the border with the presence of child protection officers to identify the vulnerabilities and ensure a proper handover to the national child protection services. Children are paying a high price in this war, they are facing a huge psychological trauma, which will haunt them for life. It is a priority to provide them with quality services to support them” – said MEP Caterina Chinnici (S&D, Italy), Co-Chair of the Intergroup on Children’s Rights, S&D co-author of this Resolution.

This Resolution comes after the European Commission Communication on the Ukraine: EU support to help Member States meet the needs of refugees , as well as the 10-action point of 23 March aimed at supporting all people fleeing fro Ukraine, and provide specific measure to support neighbouring countries,

In this emergency situation, with an on-going War, it is key we make sure all the children from institutions in Ukraine – where 30% of them are children with disabilities – are safely evacuated with special measures that take into consideration the best interest of the children, and that the consent of their parents or persons responsible for their care be granted. No child should be left behind and as EU we need to step up our efforts to ensure those vulnerable children are looked after and safely transferred to the EU Member States and properly attended by qualified staff in adequate facilities.” – concluded MEP David Lega (EPP, Sweden), Co-Chair of the Intergroup on Children’s Rights

 

— ENDS –For more information or media inquiries, please contact:         

Mr. Emilio Puccio – Secretary General of the European Parliament Intergroup on Children’s Rights

E: emilio.puccio@ep.europa.eu

 

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