Ukraine and Finland discuss helping children in need of child protection
In spring 2022, Ukraine requested Finland to examine whether Finland could, under the Hague Convention, receive children who are fleeing the war in Ukraine and are in need of child protection.
The matter was examined last summer together with the City of Helsinki. Under the Finnish Child Welfare Act, Helsinki is responsible for international child protection matters. However, any operations to transfer children would be coordinated together with the Finnish Immigration Service.
The representatives of the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health and the Ministry of the Interior met with Consul Daniil Kononenko from the Embassy of Ukraine in Finland on 15 September 2022. At the meeting, the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health told that Finland would be prepared to receive Ukrainian children in need of child protection services if Ukraine considered there was still a need for this.
“Naturally, we have a common will with Ukraine to protect children. We will continue discussing the matter with the Ministry of Social Policy of Ukraine as soon as possible,” says Anna Cantell-Forsbom from the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health.
Helping children should be left to the authorities
Following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, many people in Finland have wanted to participate in the efforts to help Ukrainian people. Some of them have transported people out of Ukraine and its neighbouring areas on their own initiative. It is understandable that people want to help. However, the authorities remind that people coming from the conflict zone, children in particular, often need special support.
The authorities and humanitarian organisations have long experience in helping children in crises. Helping unaccompanied children who are fleeing the war in Ukraine is a matter for the authorities.
Anna Cantell-Forsbom, Director, tel. +358 295 163 351, [email protected]