“Can I take in a refugee child?” #We answer

Two million Ukrainian children and young people have left their country to flee the war. Some are not accompanied by a loved one. The surge of individual generosity has its limits, however, and we need to be aware of them.

The face of an 11-year-old Ukrainian boy left alone in the exodus, with a phone number written on his mother’s hand, shocked the whole world. This refugee traveled 1500 kilometers to Slovakia. He found relatives. A reassuring result.

But other unaccompanied children arrive at Ukraine’s borders without anyone picking them up.

Only children and young people, refugees from Ukraine (as well as from other countries) have the status of unaccompanied minors provided for in the International Convention on the Rights of the Child and European law.

It is forbidden for a non-family person to host you despite good intentions. These young people must be taken in by the Social Assistance for Children (ASE), a service of the departmental councils.

This very system was advocated by the Director-General of UNICEF and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in early March:

States must provide safe spaces for children and families immediately after crossing borders and integrate them into national child protection systems.

The admission of adult refugees by individuals is also supervised. You must report to the prefecture.

Four million children are being uprooted from their homes, from their schools. They are either expelled within the country or exiled to other countries.

UNICEF and the High Commissioner for Refugees warn of the risks they are taking. Criminal human trafficking networks threaten single women with their children and of course unaccompanied minors.

UNICEF calls on the governments of neighboring countries and other destination countries to strengthen child protection checks at border crossings… there is also a need to i Rapidly identify children who have been separated from their families and establish procedures for search and reunion.”

In Ukraine, too, the fate of orphaned or disabled children living in institutions is worrying. In war zones, they also had to be evacuated.

Movements must be reported to the relevant authorities in Ukraine and neighboring countries as soon as they cross the border, and children must be evacuated with their identity papers and files wherever possible.” (Source UNICEF)

The best help for refugee children is a donation to the recognized associations that help them.

In Normandy, as in other regions, collections of school supplies are organized, associations fight to allow children arriving from Ukraine to engage in activities and sports. You can contribute.

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