FRA’s third bulletin on ‘The Russian war of aggression against Ukraine’ examines how best to protect the fundamental rights of children now in the EU that fled the war in Ukraine. It also identifies the steps some countries have taken.
Furthermore, it highlights various areas of concern like keeping track of children, access to education and mental healthcare, as well as the situation of children who were evacuated from Ukrainian institutions.
The EU’s Temporary Protection Directive entitles all those who came to the EU from Ukraine to settle and integrate here. It has specific provisions to protect children, such as the provision of medical or other necessary assistance to unaccompanied children or the right to education under the same conditions as national children.
To better protect children, the bulletin identifies key areas that need addressing:
As discussions continue about the future of Ukraine, the EU and its Member States should pay particular attention to the needs of children and what ultimately is in their best interests to safeguard their fundamental rights and wellbeing.
Quote of FRA Director Michael O’Flaherty:
"Many of these children live in perpetual uncertainty. In their short lives, they have borne witness to a global pandemic, the violent invasion of their country, and a journey to a new country. They have been separated from family members, have had to learn a new language, understand a new culture, and make new friends, all the while not knowing how long this precarious chapter will last. The way forward must be one anchored in existing EU and international law, which binds us all."