Over 40,000 children took part in all-Ukrainian radio dictation on mine safety

05 April 2023
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UNICEF

KYIV, 5 April 2023 — On International Mine Awareness Day, over 40,000 children joined the national radio dictation on mine safety broadcasted on Ukrainian Radio and various online platforms. Children heard life-saving tips and wrote them down after the voice of Patron, a renowned Ukrainian bomb-sniffing dog from a popular cartoon and UNICEF official Ambassadog.

To remind of the mine safety rules, UNICEF organized the "Together to Safety" dictation jointly with the Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine (MES), the State Emergency Service of Ukraine (SES), Ukrainian Radio and the Mine Action Center. Over 1,400 children came to write the dictation on-site in UNICEF Spilno Child Spots in all regions of Ukraine, almost 40,000 more joined online, all of them excited to learn from their favourite cartoon hero how to stay safe around explosive objects.

"Mine safety became a crucial knowledge for Ukrainian children, as the war made Ukraine one of the most mine-contaminated countries worldwide. To reduce their risk of being injured or killed, UNICEF teaches Ukrainian children the rules of mine safety since 2014. We also reach their parents and teachers with practical advice to scale the awareness and the effort," said the UNICEF Representative in Ukraine Murat Sahin.

According to SES, as of 4 April 2023, up to 174,000 square kilometres (nearly 30%) of the territory 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. 

83 child casualties caused by mines and explosive remnants of war were verified by the UN Human Rights Monitoring Mission in Ukraine from 24 February 2022 to 5 March 2023. These are, however, only the verified casualties, and the actual number is likely to be much higher.

In 2022, UNICEF in partnership with SES and Patron reached almost 10 million people with a large-scale campaign on safe behaviour with mines and explosive ordnance. Over 300,000 children and their caregivers participated in about 20,000 educational sessions in schools and UNICEF Spilno Child Spots. Nearly 75,000 children and young people participated in online explosive ordnance risk education lessons.

You can also listen to recordings of the dictation "Together to Safety" and learn the rules that save lives on UNICEF's  YouTube or Facebook pages, the Ministry of Education and Science's Facebook, SES's YouTube or Facebook pages, Ukrainian Radio YouTube, or on Mine Action Center's Facebook.

UNICEF's materials on safe behaviour for children of different ages and guides to mine safety lessons for teachers are available to download at https://bezpeka.info/ — the website launched by UNICEF jointly with MES, SES, and the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine earlier this year.

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The United Nations General Assembly declared that 4 April of each year to be observed as the International Day for Mine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action. It is aimed at raising awareness about mines and ERW and facilitating their eradication. Mine Awareness Day is observed to foster the development of national mine-action capacities in the countries where mines and ERW constitute a serious threat to the safety, health and lives of the civilian population.

 

Media contacts

Oleksandra Burynska
Communications Specialist
UNICEF Ukraine

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