Statement on the protection of children during the armed conflict in Eastern Ukraine

UNICEF, November 7, 2014

ENEVA/KYIV, 7 November 2014 – The senseless killing of two children and injury of four others in the shelling of a school sports field in Donetsk, Ukraine, on Wednesday is a shocking reminder of the price being paid by children and families in the ongoing violence in Eastern Ukraine. 

UNICEF reminds all parties to the conflict that all children must be protected from harm, as required by international legal standards and as their moral responsibility.  

Armed conflicts not only result in senseless injury and death but also severely disrupt children’s lives. In zones of fighting in Ukraine, children have become separated from their parents and families in the chaos. Communities have become weakened and basic services interrupted. Schools have been forced to close and health facilities are unable to provide services. All parties should facilitate the resumption of services, including access to humanitarian assistance where required.

Children are especially vulnerable during armed conflicts. It is dangerous and detrimental to a child’s health and wellbeing to witness or be swept up in violence. During conflict, special care must be taken to support children and protect their rights.   

Every child death is one death too many.