Refugee children from Ukraine struggle with trauma, barriers and educational gaps in EU

Children who fled Ukraine for EU countries after the war started are struggling with far-reaching problems.

According to the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA), refugee children from Ukraine in EU countries struggle with language barriers, interrupted education and psychological trauma. “Many of these children live in constant uncertainty,” reports FRA Director Michael O’Flaherty.

Furthermore, children still struggle with difficulties in accessing adequate health care and social services. The language barrier is cited here as the main obstacle to accessing care.

No uniform concept

It also said EU member states do not appear to have a consistent approach to registering displaced persons, including children. “There are no comprehensive national data on the number of displaced children in EU member states,” the FRA report says. It excludes Eurostat figures showing that 1.3 million children have received temporary protection from EU countries.

O’Flaherty points out that in their short lives, displaced Ukrainian children “have witnessed a global pandemic, the violent invasion of their country, and a journey to a new land.” Further, he underscores, “They’ve been separated from family members, had to learn a new language, understand a new culture, and make new friends, not knowing how long this precarious chapter will last.”

Image:, President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy in Kyiv during the Russo-Ukrainian War 2 CC BY 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons (no changes made)

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