How to protect children from mines: learn at a new website on safety
17 February 2023, Kyiv, Ukraine. Ukraine has become one of the most mine-contaminated countries in the world. 75 child casualties caused by mines and explosive remnants of war were verified by the UN Human Rights Monitoring Mission in Ukraine from 24 February to 15 February 2023. To reduce the risk of children being injured or killed, UNICEF, jointly with the Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine, the State Emergency Service of Ukraine, and the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine, launched a website about mine safety for parents, teachers, and children.
According to the State Emergency Service of Ukraine (SES), as of 17 February 2023, approximately 174,000 square kilometres of Ukraine may be contaminated with explosive ordnance or mines. SES reports that there have been cases of mined children's toys and other items that attract kids’ attention and, thus, pose a significant threat to their lives and health.
“30% of the territory of Ukraine is contaminated with hundreds of thousands of explosive objects. Children's curiosity and inattention put their health and lives at risk. This is why it is crucial to teach kids and their parents the mine safety rules,” said Oleksandr Chekrygin, the Director of the Emergency Prevention Department of the SES.
“No child should risk their lives or health when walking home, strolling in a park, or playing at the playground. As long as Ukraine remains mine-contaminated, we must teach children about the dangers of explosives and how to keep themselves safe. Children and teenagers can learn these rules on our new website through engaging cartoons and comics about mine safety. Parents and teachers will find recommendations there on how to talk to children about this complex topic,” UNICEF Representative in Ukraine Murat Sahin added.
The web resource includes four sections: for parents, teachers, teenagers, and kids. Each webpage contains age-appropriate information explaining what types of mines exist and providing safety rules. The chapter for teachers includes guidelines for conducting a mine safety lesson and presentations for students of all ages.
Unfortunately, Ukrainian children of all ages need to be aware of the subjects they study in high school to protect their lives. First, parents should explain to them how to behave around suspicious items. At the same time, teachers will provide children with information about mine safety rules and handling those suspicious objects. Thanks to cooperation with UNICEF in Ukraine, special lessons will be included in the curriculum. Thus, teachers will explain to teenagers and children how to protect their lives from mines and other explosives in a simple and accessible way,” says Serhiy Shkarlet, Minister of Education and Science of Ukraine.
UNICEF works in some of the world’s toughest places, to reach the world’s most disadvantaged children. Across more than 190 countries and territories, we work for every child, everywhere, to build a better world for everyone.