May 1, 2024

A new platform for Ukrainian children, coordinated effort by PACE

In January 2024, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe adopted a resolution to enhance the safety and security of Ukrainian children. This resolution was the catalyst for the creation of a significant new platform, announced by Olena Khomenko, the Vice President of PACE, designed to address the issues facing all Ukrainian children, especially those who have been displaced or deported due to armed conflicts.

The platform serves as a coordination hub for parliamentarians from the 46 member states of the Council of Europe. It aims to harness its members' collective advocacy and legislative power to protect the rights of Ukrainian kids and implement targeted actions for their safety.

Olena Khomenko stated that at a meeting of the PACE Bureau, the board of a special mission was approved, which will visit the headquarters of international organizations in Geneva to facilitate the return of deported Ukrainian children. The aim is to ensure that international organizations fulfill their mandate and join the search and identification of Ukrainian children, visit their places of residence, and facilitate the safe return of these children to Ukraine.

During a session in Strasbourg, Olena Khomenko also met with key figures such as Jennifer Schuetze-Reymann, Coordinator of the Consultative Group on Ukrainian Children (CGU) at the Council of Europe, and Roberto Olla, Director of the Department of Human Dignity and Gender Equality. The purpose of the meeting was to launch cooperation to address the problems of Ukrainian children temporarily displaced to Council of Europe member states.

The creation of this platform is set to become a powerful mechanism for implementing the January resolution, using the broad arsenal of both hard and soft law tools available to the Council of Europe.

The platform’s establishment demonstrates the collective commitment of PACE and its partners to ensuring that all Ukrainian children, regardless of their location, have the opportunity to grow up in a secure and loving environment.