Washington, DC—Children are most vulnerable amid conflict, and as Russia’s war with Ukraine continues, children face devastating consequences, particularly those without a parent or guardian to protect them. Their vulnerability is starkly revealed in media reports about Ukrainian children being forcibly taken to Russia to be adopted by Russian families.
“Recent media reports show the incredible vulnerability of separated and unaccompanied children, particularly during crises, including the risk that they will be trafficked to another country,” said KIND Vice President of International Programs Lisa Frydman. “As we have seen in the United States, the impact of forcible family separation is far-reaching, the trauma caused can last a lifetime, and the separation can take years to resolve. This treatment of Ukrainian children is a gross violation of their rights, and we will continue to call for registration and tracking of every unaccompanied and separated child to monitor their well-being and ensure they can be found.”
Kids in Need of Defense (KIND), which has worked in Europe since 2014, has been collaborating with Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies’ Human Trafficking Initiative and Human Rights League in Slovakia to train law enforcement, child welfare, and non-governmental organizations on practical skills to respond to cases involving human trafficking, and to build cross sector relationships and trust. Creating a network and facilitating communication across these sectors is critical for handling trafficking cases so that different actors can reach out to each other with challenges and share best practices.
Media Contact: Megan McKenna, firstname.lastname@example.org, 202-631-9990