I decided to go to a couple of press briefings at the Ukraine Crisis Media Center today in Kyiv (thanks to @TetyanaStadnyk for showing me where it was).
I was particularly interested in the status of people who have been displaced by the war here in Ukraine. The United Nations calls these people “Internally Displaced Persons” or IDPs, and says they “are among the world’s most vulnerable people.”
Even if they have fled for similar reasons as refugees (armed conflict, generalized violence, human rights violations), IDPs legally remain under the protection of their own government – even though that government might be the cause of their flight. As citizens, they retain all of their rights and protection under both human rights and international humanitarian law.
In Ukraine, this is a problem that has only grown since the war started last year. The UN estimates that by the end of May, Ukraine had approximately 1.3 million people who have been forced to flee their homes, but they acknowledge that “the real figure of IDPs remains unknown and is likely to be higher.”
The Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre has estimates showing numbers a bit higher than the UN’s, but comparable.
At the end of April, UNICEF put the number of children displaced by the war at 152,000.
According to data shared today by the Ukrainian Institute of Research of Extremism, 96% of those children come from the eastern part of Ukraine (the Donbas region), and 4% from Crimea.
I hope to pursue this topic further while I am here in Ukraine, so I will hopefully be posting more in the near future.
In a similar vein:
The Ukraine Crisis Media Center is also initiating a project encouraging Ukraine’s youth in creative writing, journalism, and communication in the face of conflict. You can find more information by following the link below: