The Children of the Contact Line in East Ukraine
Sustainable Development Goals: 16
- SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions
The Children of the Contact Line in East Ukraine: UNICEF 2017 Assessment Update
Published by UNICEF, this report summarizes the issues faced by children living in Eastern Ukraine. By conducting interviews and forming focus groups, the researchers were able to identify the physiological, psychological, and educational needs of children living near the contact line. The conflict has endangered the safety of children, in which over 12000 children live in areas affected by shelling. Unexploded mines left by soldiers on both sides in rural areas are also a hazard to children living in rural areas. As a result of extended exposure to violence, this has significantly increased cases of psychological distress amongst children. At the same time, the war has fostered an environment where cases of sexual violence and abuse are increasing. To combat this, UNICEF recommends the development of “child-friendly spaces” and psychological support and therapy to children in need. On the other hand, the Ukrainian conflict has closed down many schools, compromising the quality of education students are receiving. This has increased the number of children put out of school and kindergarten. Furthermore, the quality of healthcare accessible to people living the frontlines has decreased. Many health facilities don’t have access to proper equipment and medicine, increasing the risk of diseases like HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis. Hence, UNICEF recommends the Ukrainian government to support health facilities and implement better referral systems so that patients would have access to the treatment they need.