General Article Family separations in Ukraine highlight the importance of children’s rights

Topic Selected: Child Rights Book Volume: 412

Family separations in Ukraine highlight the importance of children’s rights

A 41-year-old man presses his palms against the window of a train as he says goodbye to his five-year-old daughter as she leaves for Lviv at the Kyiv station on March 4, 2022. He was staying behind to fight Russian forces. (AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti)

Christina Clark-Kazak, L’Université d’Ottawa/University of Ottawa

Given the conscription of men aged 18 to 60 in Ukraine, the majority of Ukrainians fleeing into neighbouring countries are women and children.

Most adult men and many disabled and older people have been left behind. The resulting family separation poses legal and social challenges that need to be addressed in gender- and age-sensitive ways.

Unaccompanied and separated children require specific protection and care because of their developing capacities to care for themselves and intergenerational power hierarchies. That means that most of the time, adults control resources and decision-making, ...

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