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Buchcover Reflecting on the Present through the Past: Children's Displacement from Ukraine


Reflecting on the Present through the Past: Children's Displacement from Ukraine

Friederike Kind-Kovács

The Journal of the History of Childhood and Youth, 2024

344 Seiten

Friederike Kind Kovács and Anna Oksiutovych argue that the displacement of children is one of the major, but generally overlooked, consequences of the war in Ukraine. The authors find valuable insights in studying previous examples of children's forced displacement and migration to safe countries that help identify the possible long- and short-term consequences for the children who have left Ukraine following the Russia's invasion that began February 24, 2022. Specifically, the history of Hungarian children's displacement during and after World War I offers important parallels. Kind-Kovács and Oksiutovych identify two kinds of displacements—those that take place by families leaving for safe countries in anticipation of the crisis created by the war and children's forced displacement under Russian policies. In regard to the latter, the article examines the Russian government's possible motivations behind the forced abduction of 700,000 Ukrainian minors taken to Russia, actions that are contrary to international law. These abductions target the most vulnerable children, especially orphans and disabled children residing in institutions. The authors conducted oral histories with Ukrainian mothers who relocated with their children to safe countries, and their testimonies offers insights into the difficulties faced by these refugee children even in these "better" circumstances. The authors underscore the urgent need for comprehensive international measures to protect children's rights in conflict zones such as Ukraine, finding support for their conclusions in historical evidence.

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