Conflicts & War

NGO: 1 million child refugees have fled Ukraine, sometimes alone

(Update 1: Revises estimate upwards after change at source)

London, Mar 8 (EFE).- An estimated one million children have fled Ukraine in recent weeks including a growing number who are arriving in neighboring countries alone, the NGO Save the Children said Tuesday.

The total number of people who have fled the Russian invasion of Ukraine has risen to 2 million, according to the United Nations.

“Reports from the border suggest that some children are arriving unaccompanied after being sent by family members who were unable to leave Ukraine but wanted their children to be safe from ground attack and aerial explosions,” the NGO said in a statement.

“Others have been separated from their families in the chaos of fleeing their homes. Many of the solo arrivals are under 14 and showing signs of psychological distress.”

Save the Children said it was working with other agencies to help reunite child refugees with their families and ensure that protection measures were in place.

Irina Saghoyan, Save the Children’s eastern Europe director, added: “Separation can mean profound psychological stress from uncertainty, and fear for family members and separation anxiety. It also increases risks of violence, exploitation, trafficking and abuse.

“All efforts must be made to prevent the separation of children from their caregivers and to ensure immediate family tracing and reunification where separation occurs.”EFE


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