WORLD

UNICEF condemns horrific attack by Russians on children's hospital

At least 37 children had been killed and 50 injured in a horrific experience at a Children’s hospital.

In Summary

•At least 37 children had been killed and 50 injured in a horrific experience at a Children’s hospital.

•The incident occurred after a Russian air strike buried patients under a rubble despite an agreed ceasefire.

Children look out from an evacuation train from Kyiv to Lviv as they say goodbye to their father at Kyiv central train station in central Kyiv, Ukraine, Mar 3, 2022.
Children look out from an evacuation train from Kyiv to Lviv as they say goodbye to their father at Kyiv central train station in central Kyiv, Ukraine, Mar 3, 2022.
Image: REUTERS

More than 1 million refugees have been forced to flee Ukraine seeking safety and protection in the neighbouring countries as the Russia- Ukrainian war is on the 15th day.

According to the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) amongst those that are fleeing, hundreds of thousands of them are children, many of them are unaccompanied or have been separated from their parents or family members.

"Children without parental care are at a heightened risk of violence, abuse and exploitation. When these children are moved across borders, the risks are multiplied. The risk of trafficking also soars in emergencies,” they said in a statement on Wednesday.

"UNICEF and UNHCR urge all neighbouring and impacted countries to ensure the immediate identification and registration of unaccompanied and separated children fleeing from Ukraine, after allowing them access to their territory.

According to the UNICEF Executive Director Catherine Russell, at least 37 children had been killed and 50 injured in a horrific experience at a Children’s hospital in the Ukranian city of Mriupol.

The incident occurred after a Russian air strike buried patients under a rubble despite an agreed ceasefire.

“The attack reportedly left young children and women in labor buried beneath the rubble of destroyed buildings. We do not yet know the number of casualties but fear the worst,” she said in a tweet.

“Attacks against civilians and civilian infrastructure – including hospitals, water and sanitation systems and schools – are unconscionable and must stop immediately. The children of Ukraine desperately need peace.”

Nearly 100,000 children, half of them with disabilities, live in institutional care and boarding schools in Ukraine.

Many of these children have living relatives or legal guardians.

"Those legally responsible for children in institutions in Ukraine must ensure that evacuations are done in line with national authorities’ instructions. Children should be evacuated with their identification papers and case files,”

UNHCR and UNICEF have assured their commitment to working hand-in-hand to support national authorities to protect children in Ukraine amidst all the chaos.

UNICEF Executive director Catherine Russell
UNICEF Executive director Catherine Russell
Image: UNICEF

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