Children of Ukraine have right to live in peace

11 February 2022

Plan International is joining calls for a diplomatic solution to the situation in Ukraine and for urgent attention to the critical needs of children affected by the worsening humanitarian situation.  

A Plan International spokesperson said: “Children living along frontline areas in Ukraine are growing up amid a prolonged conflict, experiencing uncertainty and fear of attack, many are missing out on school, and others have been forced to flee their homes.    

“We are teetering on the brink of further escalation which could threaten the lives of a generation of children. For the sake of the children of Ukraine, we urge every effort be made now to bring about a peaceful outcome.”  

Families under additional strain

We are teetering on the brink of further escalation which could threaten the lives of a generation of children. 

The protracted crisis continues to take a heavy toll on the physical and mental wellbeing and living standards of the estimated 1.8 million children, women and others who are in urgent need of humanitarian assistance. The recent weeks of heightened tensions are placing families under additional strain and any military escalation will lead to a further deterioration in conditions.  

Protection, including child protection and the prevention of gender-based violence, access to water, food and health services, and education are among the greatest needs, especially for families displaced from their homes. Any escalation in hostilities could lead to an increase in trafficking of people, especially women and children. Plan International urges all authorities concerned to respect the human rights of children and access for organisations providing support for communities in the worst affected areas.  

All parties must respect human rights law

“Children have a right to grow up without fear of harm and the schools they attend and health centres must not be threatened or become a target. We urge all parties to respect international humanitarian and human rights law and ensure the safety and wellbeing of all civilians.”  

In the event of an escalation which forces families to leave their homes and seek refuge, countries must commit to their obligations under the UN Convention on Refugees. The principle of non-refoulement must be respected meaning that no one should be returned to a country where they would face harm.

Emergencies, Child protection in emergencies