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Official: 240 Ukrainian children taken away from their families in EU

by Asami Terajima June 18, 2023 7:47 PM 1 min read
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At least 240 Ukrainian children have been taken away from their families in EU countries due to guardianship law, Iryna Suslova, a representative of Ukraine's children's ombudsman, said in an interview released on June 18.

Speaking to the Ukrainian branch of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, Suslova said that Ukraine needs to step up its efforts to inform families about specific guardianship laws abroad.

One such example, Suslova said, is when a mother decides to stay in Ukraine due to work, but a grandmother goes abroad with a child.

European social services can take the child away because the grandmother is not legally considered a relative and can't take care of the child if she doesn't have a power of attorney, according to the official.

Age is also a common factor, Suslova said. In Italy or France, a person over the age of 65 cannot be a guardian, she added.

She advised Ukrainians who have encountered these problems to reach out to Ukrainian consuls, assuring them that they would assist in resolving the situation.

Millions of Ukrainians have fled their country with their children since Russia launched its full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022.

Many of them still live abroad. According to the European Council's March 2023 data, 4 million Ukrainians currently benefit from the EU's temporary protection mechanism.

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