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Tiny Kox: ‘international solidarity with the children of Ukraine is now obligatory’

Child fleeing the Ukraine war

“We must consider the best ways to support children affected by the war in Ukraine,” PACE President Tiny Kox said today, speaking on the occasion of the launch of the new Council of Europe Strategy for the Rights of the Child at a high-level conference in Rome co-organised by the Council of Europe and the Italian Presidency of the Committee of Ministers.

Speaking remotely, following an official visit to Ukraine with the Chairpersons of PACE's five political groups, he added that 4.5 million Ukrainians had had to flee the country so far – half of them children – and that inside Ukraine, over 2.5 million children were no longer at home, lacking the most essential protection – such as housing, education, healthcare or security. “The fundamental rights all these children are entitled to have evaporated due to the brutality of the Russian aggression,” he said, calling for “international solidarity with the children of Ukraine”.

Welcoming the adoption of the new Council of Europe Strategy on the Rights of the Child for 2022-2027, Mr Kox underlined that PACE could play a useful role in putting it into practice. “Parliamentary Assembly reports are often at the origin of new international legal standards, such as the Lanzarote Convention to protect children against sexual exploitation and abuse,” he recalled.

The new “Rome strategy 2022-2027” adopted by the Council of Europe’s Committee of Ministers on 23 February 2022 will focus on six strategic objectives related to children: freedom from violence; equal opportunities and social inclusion for all children; their access to and safe use of technology; child-friendly justice; giving them a voice; and their rights in crisis and emergency situations.