An average of three children have been killed or injured every day in Ukraine since the escalation of the war nearly 500 days ago. From 24 February 2022 to 30 June 2023, the UN has recorded over 25,000 civilian casualties including 1,630 children, 535 of whom died, with 1,095 injured, according toa report from Save The Children.
Explosive weapons with wide impact areas are responsible for more than 90% of civilian casualties, posing a severe threat to children due to their smaller and more fragile bodies.
March 2022 was the deadliest month for children in the last 500 days, with over 240 children killed and 260 injured. Although the number of child casualties has decreased since the initial outbreak of full-scale war, children in Ukraine continue to face regular killings and injuries. June 2023 has been the deadliest month this year, with 54 child casualties, including the tragic deaths of 14-year-old twin sisters in an attack in Kramatorsk.
In addition to the constant threat of death or injury, children in Ukraine experience significant psychological distress due to air raid alerts, missile strikes, and daily shelling. Witnessing devastating attacks has left many kids with heart problems, psychological conditions, and fears of loud noises and sirens.
Sonia Khush, Save the Children’s Country Director in Ukraine, emphasizes the urgency of the situation and the need for immediate action. She calls on all sides to adhere to international humanitarian and human rights law, specifically protecting civilians and civilian infrastructure, including schools, hospitals, and homes, from attacks. They have been providing humanitarian aid in Ukraine since 2014 and is actively supporting refugee families across Europe while helping kids access education and critical services.
It is crucial to recognize the long-term harm caused by the ongoing conflict and prioritize the well-being and safety of children in Ukraine.
SAVE THE CHILDREN
The organisation is actively supporting kids affected by violence through psychosocial support activities at Digital Learning Centers and Child Friendly spaces across Ukraine. These initiatives aim to help kids recover mentally and reintegrate into society after distressing events. Art therapy sessions, aimed at providing an outlet for stress and fear, have become increasingly popular as families continue to suffer from daily shelling and strikes.