The International Pediatric Association (IPA) is deeply concerned for the safety and
health condition of children living in Ukraine, including those who live in the Donetsk and
Lugansk regions, during the current conflict with Russia. We also very concerned for the
children for now refugees in neighboring countries. Children are often the innocent
victims during armed conflicts. In alignment with the IPA constitution and on behalf of
all children, we call on all international communities to take the necessary measures in
support of the safety and well-being of children affected by the war in Ukraine.
Exposure to war and violent acts adversely affects the life trajectory of children far more
than adults. Apart from the potential for loss of live, physical injury and disability,
disruption of their daily lives, schooling, parental and family support could lead to the
development of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other mental health issues.
Poor nutrition, insufficient water safety, poor sanitation, loss of housing, limited access
to healthcare, increased risk of communicable diseases, with population movement all
contribute to impact war have on children.
As pediatricians, we are committed to the health and well-being of children from all racial
and ethnic backgrounds. By ensuring these rights, only then we can protect children and
secure their future. Today in Ukraine, a child may lose his or her live, become injured or
disabled, loose a parent or a family member, learning opportunity at school, time to live
as a child and play with friends. Their lives will not be the same when the war ends and
they will carry the scars of the distress they endured for the rest of their lives.
This letter serves as the official position statement and we invite the international
community to make every effort for the war to end as soon as possible, in the interest of
protecting children’s safety, wellbeing, education, and health in Ukraine. We should all
strive for fair, equal, and dignified treatment of children. We should protect the rights of
children to be protected from harm throughout the fighting, and their safety must be a
priority under the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC). In addition, humanitarian
supplies including food and medical supplies to the families and children should be
ensured as generous and efficient. These actions are imperative to prevent the
detrimental effects of war on psychological and physical health over children.
IPA: working for Every Child, Every Age, Everywhere