"We are not only losing lives, but also futures" - MEP Diana Riba i Giner
EFA MEP Diana Riba intervened in plenary session today, to raise the issues children and young people fleeing Ukraine are facing. As more than four million people have fled Ukraine at the moment, and 90% of those refugees are women and children.
Recent reports have raised alarms as these children, many of them unaccompanied minors, are at risk of human trafficking, abuse and sexual exploitation. Over 2 million children refugees are school-aged children. Diana highlighted the work of UNICEF and ACNUR, alongside civic society organisations and governments from the bordering countries, have organised "Blue Dots", a series of secure spaces for children across the border.
The Blue Dot hubs provide refugees with critical information and practical support to help them in their journeys. They identify and register children travelling on their own, connect them to protection services, and offer referral services to women, including gender-based violence.
Riba i Giner warns that "immediacy" will not solve the devastating consequences of these wars. Riba calls for anticipation and long-sighted migration and integration policies, which allow those fleeing war to access basic services, including education, health, and job opportunities, giving them the chance to " imagine a future".
Diana Riba i Giner, Greens/EFA MEP, said:
"The war in Ukraine has already killed thousands of civilians, including young people and children, and forced more than four million people to flee and seek protection in Europe".
"We are not only losing lives, but also futures".
"It is imperative to register all these children and ensure that their rights are fully respected, including from a gender perspective".
"And it is our duty to ensure that all children fleeing war in Europe find the peaceful and safe environment to which they are entitled. For all of them to return to the classroom".
"For the EU to be the place where it is possible to imagine a future".