The number of refugees who have fled Ukraine has reached more than 6.5 million. More than two-thirds of Ukrainian children have been displaced from their homes since the start of the conflict.
Three months of political insecurity in Ukraine has extended the disruptions to education due to the COVID-19 pandemic for children, which could have longterm consequences for children’s development.
In Romania, UNCHR has expressed concerns about potential gaps regarding children who may be separated after arriving in Romania. On May 6, the Government of Romania reported 2,700 unaccompanied children have been registered since the beginning of the conflict. Many of the children are from special protection institutions near Mariupol and Donetsk. This marks a concerning increase from March 17, when 500 unaccompanied minors were identified crossing the border from Ukraine to Romania.
Ukrainian children with disabilities with the greatest support needs are living in atrocious conditions, according to an investigation by Disability Rights International in April. The organisation warns that thousands of disabled children have been forgotten and abandoned in institutions that can’t look after them.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has raised concerns about a potential measles outbreak among Ukrainian children due to the ongoing fighting and low vaccination rates. Although 85 per cent of eligible children in Ukraine received their first dose of measles vaccine in 2020, it’s still below the recommended 95 per cent or higher each year to achieve and maintain herd immunity and protect the population.