“This is my Life, and I Don’t Want to Waste a Year of it”: The experiences and wellbeing of children fleeing Ukraine

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Save the Children International

Since the escalation of conflict in Ukraine on 24 February 2022, more than 1,000 children have been killed or injured in the country. This is tragic and likely an underestimation. By October 2022, nearly one-third of the population was displaced and more than 7.6 million refugees from Ukraine were recorded across Europe. Thousands of children and families are still being forced to flee, while violence and fighting make it hard to access essential healthcare and education.

Save the Children research with more than 1,000 children and caregivers in eight European countries, shows that children who have left Ukraine face significant challenges adjusting to their new environment. They report higher levels of anxiety and unhappiness than before, and a worryingly high proportion do not plan to enrol in or attend school. These findings are based on a survey and focus group discussions with children and their caregivers carried out in Finland, Italy, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Romania and Sweden in July and August 2022.


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