UNICEF, SES and MIA teach teenagers about safe behaviour
"Spilno for safety. Safe winter holidays"
Explosive devices hidden in the snow, frozen lakes and reservoirs, unlit roads, and falling icicles are just some of the dangers faced by children in Ukraine this winter. To help keep children safe, the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), the State Emergency Service (SES), and the Ministry of Internal Affairs (MIA) have launched a media campaign to inform teenagers about safe behaviour in winter.
According to statistics from the SES, 216 people died in bodies of water last winter, 12 of whom were children. Furthermore, amid the ongoing war, Ukraine remains one of the most heavily landmine-affected countries in the world, with approximately 30 per cent of its territory potentially contaminated with explosive devices. Children continue to pay the price – the UN Human Rights Monitoring Mission in Ukraine confirmed that 91 children were injured and 25 killed by mines and explosive remnants of war between 24 February 2022 and 28 November 2023.
“Children learn about the world and grow through new experiences,” says Munir Mammadzade, UNICEF Representative in Ukraine. “However, at times, this may mean that children engage in risky behaviour. This winter, in collaboration with SES, UNICEF aims to educate children and adolescents on how to safeguard themselves when they are near mine-contaminated areas, when navigating the streets at night, near frozen water bodies, and amidst icy conditions when icicles can fall.”
The Safe Winter Holidays campaign emphasizes that putting yourself in danger is not necessary to gain more life experience, but that there are instead safe and enjoyable ways to still have fun. Through videos, TikToks, and printed material, young people and their parents will learn what to do in dangerous situations and find answers to the most common “why?” questions.
“The issue of children's safety becomes particularly crucial in the fall and winter,” says Volodymyr Demchuk, Acting Head of the SES. “Understanding and adhering to rules regarding fire and mine safety, appropriate behaviour on ice, navigating in the dark, and recognizing risks is paramount to preventing injuries and tragedies. Through the implementation of the Safe Winter Holidays campaign we, in collaboration with UNICEF, aim to ensure children and their parents understand some essential safeguards. Creating a secure environment for young Ukrainians remains a constant priority for the State Emergency Service and the state.”
In the campaign, safety rules are presented using informal language, with examples and explanations of both correct and incorrect behaviour. Access to all materials can be found on the campaign page. For additional valuable resources related to development and play, visit https://spilnoteka.org/.
The campaign is supported by United States Agency for International Development (USAID).
UNICEF works in some of the world’s toughest places, to reach the world’s most disadvantaged children. Across 190 countries and territories, we work for every child, everywhere, to build a better world for everyone. For more information about UNICEF and its work for children, visit www.unicef.org