“At least 972 children in Ukraine have been killed or injured by violence since the war escalated nearly six months ago, an average of over five children killed or injured each day.
“And these are just the figures the UN has been able to verify. We believe the true number to be much higher.
“The use of explosive weapons has caused most of the child casualties. These weapons do not discriminate between civilian and combatant, especially when used in populated areas as has been the case in Ukraine – in Mariupol, Luhansk, Kremenchuk, and Vinnytsia. The list goes on and on.
“Once again, as in all wars, the reckless decisions of adults are putting children at extreme risk. There are no armed operations of this kind that do not result in children being harmed.
“Meanwhile, beyond the horror of children being killed or physically hurt in attacks, almost every child in Ukraine has been exposed to deeply distressing events, and those fleeing violence are at significant risk of family separation, violence, abuse, sexual exploitation, and trafficking.
“The start of the school year in just over a week’s time is a stark reminder of how much children in Ukraine have lost.
“Ukraine’s education system has been devastated by the escalation of hostilities across the country. Schools have been targeted or used by parties, resulting in families not feeling safe to send their children to school. We estimate that 1 in 10 schools have been damaged or destroyed.