April 10, 2024

UN and Ukraine: together for the protection of Ukrainian children affected by Russian invasion

In a concerted effort to shield children from Russian invasion of Ukraine, the Bring Kids Back UA initiative has taken a new step forward with the ending and prevention of the grave violations against children in Ukraine.

Joint high-level meeting of the Inter-Ministerial Working Group on Children and Armed Conflict and the UN Country Task Force on Monitoring and Reporting focused on the achievements of implementation of the Joint Prevention Plan between the Government of Ukraine and the UN Task Force on Monitoring and Reporting to End and Prevent Grave Violations against Children in Ukraine in the context of the armed aggression of the Russian Federation against Ukraine (JPP) and the next steps.

The meeting was co-chaired by Daria Herasymchuk, the Advisor and Commissioner to the President of Ukraine on Child's Rights and Children Rehabilitation, the Government CAAC focal point, and Munir Mammadzade, UNICEF Representative to Ukraine, co-chair of the UN Country Taskforce on MRM.

Daria Herasymchuk emphasized the direct impact of their discussions on the lives of Ukrainian children, stating, "Everything we discussed and reported is reflecting in the lives of the Ukrainian kids we are protecting. This dialogue is not only an opportunity to discuss what has been accomplished but also to plan further collective actions."

Munir Mamedzade, the UNICEF Representative in Ukraine, commended the Ukrainian Government for its robust implementation of the JPP, saying, “UNICEF commends the Government of Ukraine's progress in the implementation of the Joint Prevention Plan and stands ready to continue supporting its efforts to prevent and end grave violations against children during the ongoing war.”

Key reports were presented by such ministries as:

1. The Ministry of Defense detailed continuous efforts on dissemination of knowledge of international humanitarian law among Ukrainian Armed Forces personnel, focusing particularly on the issues of children in armed conflict.

2. Office of the General Prosecutor informed about the development of the guidelines for supervising the adherence to laws during the pre-trial investigation of war crimes involving sexual violence against children.

3. The Ministry of Internal Affairs provided updates on the pilot project "Safe Country," various initiatives, and informational training concerning cybersecurity and mine safety, especially in frontline regions with mobile safety classes supported by UNICEF.

At the same time, Kaitlin Brush, Child Protection in Emergencies Manager, UNICEF Ukraine Country Office informed about the achievements of the JPP implementation with support of UN agencies in Ukraine.

The meeting underscored the ongoing commitment to the Children and Armed Conflicts mandate, which continues to be a crucial part of Ukraine’s strategy to protect young Ukrainiains.

All actions taken under this initiative serve as potential models for development of preventive measures to protect children in armed conflicts and emergency situations worldwide.