Note on Unaccompanied Children Fleeing From Ukraine

Kids in Need of Defense (KIND), Child Circle

This briefing paper focuses on responses in the European Union (EU) to the arrival of unaccompanied children fleeing from Ukraine.

This paper aims to serve the efforts of the many stakeholders who are working together under a common EU framework of measures, by providing an overview of key issues to consider in particular from the perspective of procedural safeguards and access to protection and safety. It starts by identifying the different circumstances in which unaccompanied children fleeing Ukraine might arrive in Europe and briefly outlining the different rules that will apply to their situation. It then identifies the procedural difficulties they may encounter.

The paper sets out critical areas for action. The urgent need for responses (and limitations in resources) demands immediate and temporary arrangements. Nonetheless, alongside supporting humanitarian emergency responses, stakeholders must work together on the development of tools and resources that assist the child protection system’s ability to respond to all of the issues and risks these children face, in the immediate and longer term.