Alarming increase in child casualties in Ukraine as deadly attacks continue

Statement attributable to Munir Mammadzade, UNICEF Representative to Ukraine

13 April 2024
Ukraine. A young girl stands holding a toy in the boiler room of her school.

KYIV, 13 April 2024—“UNICEF is deeply concerned about the sharp increase in the number of child casualties in Ukraine as many areas continue to be hit by intensified attacks, 780 days since the escalation of the war.

“According to the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, at least 57 children were killed or injured in March alone, twice the number from February.

“We fear this pattern may continue. Ten days into April, at least 23 children have already been killed or injured in attacks according to reports.

“Every child killed or injured causes intense grief for their families, friends and communities. Our heartfelt thoughts are with them.

“Since the escalation of the war in 2022, 1,957 children have been killed or injured. As these are UN-verified reports, the true number is likely higher.

“Thousands of homes, schools and hospitals have been damaged or destroyed. Attacks on critical infrastructure, including in recent weeks, have caused power cuts which disrupt water supply, health care, education and other vital services for children.

“The children of Ukraine have already lost so much. They have lost their parents, loved ones, and friends. They have lost their homes, schools and playgrounds.

“Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has had a devastating impact on children. With every passing day of this war, children are losing their childhoods.

“Children are protected by international humanitarian law. The killing and maiming of children, and attacks on schools and hospitals, are grave violations.

“Children in Ukraine face the risk of being killed or injured every day. Attacks on children and civilians must stop. Children are not a target. They must be protected at all times.

“Above all, children in Ukraine must be given the chance to live in peace and enjoy their childhoods again.”


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