HomeSearch NewsEurocities – UNICEF collaboration to support the integration of refugee children from Ukraine

09 September 2022

Eurocities – UNICEF collaboration to support the integration of refugee children from Ukraine

The collaboration aims to help cities develop the necessary tools to face any type of humanitarian crisis 

The ongoing war in Ukraine threatens the lives and well-being of the country's millions of children. Over 5.6 million refugees – 90 per cent of them women and children – have fled to
neighbouring countries. Local authorities are central to responding to this humanitarian crisis, not only as providers of immediate frontline services but also in terms of maintaining social cohesion in the medium to long term. They have a crucial role to play in creating nclusive and welcoming communities where no one is left behind.
Welcoming cities are seeing their social services pushed to the limits in trying to adapt to the unforeseeable circumstances. During Eurocities’ Social Affairs Forum in Barcelona in May 2022, the discussion on the inclusion of all refugees took centre stage, focusing on how cities are adapting their services to the arrivals of newcomers from Ukraine. Local authorities are demonstrating solidarity in action, and are looking for solutions to move to a sustainable and long-term integration. Cities have a big task on their hands to promote the full realization of children’s and refugee’s rights. They have a key role in building inclusive and welcoming communities, where no one is left behind.
In this context, UNICEF and Eurocities have decided to join forces to combine our organisations’ respective expertise in defence of children's rights and in connecting local administrations across Europe.

The collaboration between UNICEF and Eurocities is aiming to enhance cooperation for the realization of children’s rights in providing guidance, training, technical expertise and capacity building to local authorities who are at the frontline in hosting and integrating refugee children and families from Ukraine. This collaboration also aims to help cities develop the necessary tools to face any type of humanitarian crisis that exposes children to significant risk of family separation, violence, abuse, sexual exploitation, and trafficking, leading to an acute child protection crisis.
The partnership will seek to conduct the following main activities:
• To launch a survey to analyse the need of the local authorities to provide services for refugees from Ukraine.
• To organise trainings and webinars to support local authorities to host and integrate refugee children
• To share knowledge, best practices and joint communication activities raising awareness and campaign on the plight of the refugee children

The purpose of the survey is twofold. Firstly, it will collect inputs to identify training needs for providing services to Ukrainian children fleeing from the war. For that, the survey will collect
information on main challenging areas and the responses cities have implemented to reduce the gaps. Secondly, the survey will support mutual learning and peer to peer exchange
among cities. The survey will feed directly into the three webinars organised jointly by UNICEF and Eurocities that will guide the exchange of good practices and inspire policy transfers and
policy changes in cities on this matter.
There will be three webinars, scheduled between September and December 2022.Each webinar will combine cities presentations of good practices/responses and challenges to
respond to, and expert input from UNICEF building on good practices in the field. The webinars will be held online and accessible for Eurocities members and other cities.




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