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Ukrainian refugee children in EU face 'perpetual uncertainty'

by Abbey Fenbert September 30, 2023 5:25 AM 2 min read
Displaced hildren from Ukraine stay in a residential compartment at the First Arrival Center in Mammendorf, Germany, on Sept. 22, 2023. (Photo by Peter Kneffel/picture alliance via Getty Images)
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Children who fled Ukraine for EU countries following Russia's all-out war struggle with language barriers, disrupted education, and psychological trauma, the EU's Fundamental Rights Agency (FRA) reported on Sept. 29.

"Many of these children live in perpetual uncertainty," said FLA Director Michael O'Flaherty.

In their most recent bulletin, FRA said that children displaced by war still face difficulties in accessing adequate health care and social services.

Language barriers were listed as the primary obstacle in accessing care.

FRA also said that EU member states did not have a unified approach to registering displaced persons, including children.

"No comprehensive national data are available on the number of children displaced in the EU Member States," the report said, apart from figures from Eurostat showing that 1.3 million children have been granted temporary protections by EU nations.

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The FRA report found that Ukrainian children also suffered from interruptions to education. According to FRA's research, only half a million children were enrolled in school for the 2022-2023 academic year.

In addition, FLA found that some disabled Ukrainian children experienced challenges in accessing care due to problems with obtaining disability certification in Ukraine.

"In their short lives, [displaced Ukrainian children] have borne witness to a global pandemic, the violent invasion of their country, and a journey to a new country," O'Flaherty said.  

"They have been separated from family members, have had to learn a new language, understand a new culture, and make new friends, all the while not knowing how long this precarious chapter will last."

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