Since 2014, conflict has been ongoing between Ukrainian forces and Russia-backed armed groups in eastern Ukraine’s Donbas region with serious consequences for children’s rights. Hostilities seriously escalated last month, when Russia invaded Ukraine, following weeks of mounting tensions, build-up of Russian military presence along the border, and Russia’s February 21 decision to recognize the independence of the territories of Donetsk and Luhansk. The significant escalation has already had devastating impacts on children, and immediate action is needed to protect children from further harm. Civilian-populated areas and infrastructure have been attacked, including schools and hospitals, and the indiscriminate use of explosive weapons, such as ballistic missiles and cluster bombs, has caused mass destruction. Civilian casualties, including children, continue to grow, with real numbers feared to be much higher than official tallies. An alarming scale of displacement raises further concerns for Ukraine’s 7.5 million children.

Watchlist has developed this briefing note to highlight key ongoing and growing concerns for the protection of children in Ukraine one month since the escalation of hostilities began and provide recommendations to mitigate harm.

Read the briefing note.