Russia’s invasion having ‘devastating’ impact on children — HRW

irobiko chimezie

The rights group Human Rights Watch (HRW) says Russia’s war in Ukraine is severely traumatizing children, specifically those living in orphanages.

The HRW report released on Monday says there are more than 105,000 children living in residential institutions — the largest number in Europe after Russia.

“Ukrainian children who were housed in Soviet-era institutions now face extreme risks due to Russia’s war on Ukraine,” said Bill Van Esveld, associate director at HRW.

“There needs to be a concerted international effort to identify and return children who were deported to Russia, and Ukraine and its allies should ensure that all children who were or remain institutionalized are identified and provided with support to live with their families and in communities.”

HRW pointed out that many more children will be orphaned as a result of the war.

The watchdog said that it had also documented Russia’s forced transfer of children from residential institutions to Russian-occupied territory, which is a war crime.

The report also highlighted the mental trauma displaced children were experiencing and pointed out shortcomings in care due to insufficient caregivers.