INDEPENDENT NEWS

Ukraine: March The Most Dangerous Month For Children Since Last Summer

Published: Fri 12 Apr 2024 11:16 AM
With 11 children killed and 46 more injured, March 2024 has become the most dangerous month for children in Ukraine since July last year, Save the Children said today.
According to latest UN figures, at least 57 children were killed or injured in Ukraine in March 2024, which is twice as many as the number of children killed or injured in February, and the highest number of child casualties in the country since 57 children were killed or injured in July last year.
At least 125 children have been killed or injured in Ukraine in the first three months of 2024, with more than one child killed or injured on average per day - a 20% increase on the number of children killed or injured during the same period in 2023. [2]
The casualties include four children - the youngest a three-month-old baby- who were injured in a single attack on 27 March, following a daytime bombing in Kharkiv, which damaged residential buildings, medical facilities and schools.
The increase in casualties comes as the country has seen a marked increase in attacks by guided and unguided aerial bombs, as reported by the UN [1].
Explosive weapons, including missiles, drones, aerial bombs, artillery, and rocket launch systems have accounted for 87% [3] of total 1,957 children killed or injured since the war in Ukraine escalated in February 2022.Sonia Khush, Country Director for Save the Children in Ukraine, said:
‘Over the past two years, there has not been a single day when sirens did not sound across Ukraine warning of a grave threat of shelling or airstrikes. Missiles, drones, and bombs force children to spend hours in underground shelters, destroy their homes and schools, and kill and injure children themselves, their families, and friends.
‘Lately, we have observed a disproportionate use of explosive weapons against in populated areas that caused dozens of casualties and obliterated critical civilian infrastructure. This cannot continue any longer. Children must not be begging to be spared of attacks and violence - it is their sacred right to survive, grow, and develop peacefully that we all must respect and protect at all costs.’
Save the Children calls for all parties to adhere to their obligations under international humanitarian and human rights law and abstain from using explosive weapons with wide-area effects in populated areas. Civilians and civilian objects, especially those impacting children such as homes, schools, and hospitals, must be protected from attack all time.
Save the Children has been working in Ukraine since 2014 and has scaled up operations since the war escalated in February 2022. The organisation is working closely with multiple partners to provide life-saving assistance such as food and water, cash transfers, and safe spaces, to make sure children and families impacted by this crisis have the support they need.

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