Children account for half of all Ukrainian refugees: EU Commissioner

Children account for about half of the 3.8 million Ukrainian refugees that have entered the European Union since the Russian invasion, according to the EU Commissioner for Home Affairs, Ylva Johansson.

“The numbers of Ukrainians arriving in the EU is declining,” Johansson stated on Monday. “During the peak, we had witnessed 200,000 arrivals every day, and at present, it is down to 40,000,” she stated,” she said.

Following a meeting of EU interior ministers in Brussels, Johansson revealed that 800,000 of the 3.8 million newcomers have already applied for temporary protection in the EU.

The EU interior ministers also agreed on an EU-wide platform for registering refugees arriving in the bloc and applying for temporary protection, with “EU-level” coordination for transport and information hubs, according to the official.

Moreover, the EU commissioner added that the EU ministers had approved common instructions for the reception and support of children, especially unaccompanied minors, as well as an anti-trafficking plan.

The bloc’s lack of a uniform approach to managing refugee influxes during and after the 2015 migrant crisis has been a point of dispute.

Warning of the need for further contingency planning for Ukrainian refugees, she said, “We have to be prepared for many more millions who might need to flee Ukraine,” reported a news website.

The commissioner also went on to say, “We do not know what will happen tomorrow.”

Furthermore, despite the EU commissioner, UNICEF has also expressed concern about the current situation of children and women fleeing the war in Ukraine. Human traffickers who may seek benefit from the situation by exploiting children and women are a significant concern for UNICEF.

“The war in Ukraine is causing major displacement and refugee movements, which can lead to a growth in human trafficking and a severe child protection crisis.” Displaced children are extremely vulnerable to being separated from their homes, trafficked, and exploited. “They need administrations in the region to take up and apply measures in place to keep them secure,” Afshan Khan, UNICEF’s Regional Director for Europe and Central Asia, stated.

After anxious days and nights, many individuals are making their way back home from war-torn Ukraine to remain safe.

The international community has also criticized the invasion, expressing support for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.

Zurab Kvaratskhelia

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