Local and Regional Governments’ Pledge for Children Displaced by the Conflict in Ukraine (with UNICEF Child Friendly Cities Initiative)
Through this action, Braga, amongst some other Local and Regional Governments (LRGs) in Europe, commits to “welcome children and their families and provide the support and assistance they need immediately, without any discrimination, while building our local capacities to accommodate, support, include and protect children and young people based on their evolving needs and vulnerabilities. Braga will treat them as their own because they are their own. A child is a child, and Braga wants all children and youth to belong, to bring out their best, and to contribute to their communities”. Through its 8 objectives, this pledge, catalyzed in the face of the ongoing conflict in Ukraine, aims to support the EU Temporary Protection Directive. Through this action LRGs are stepping up to welcome refugee children and families into their homes, their schools and their communities. As families fleeing Ukraine have the right to protection and the chance to choose where they stay, LRGs in Europe have seen an estimated 2 million children arriving to their cities and towns.
The pledge aims to achieve the following 8 objectives:
1: Protect children who are fleeing the conflict (by pooling capacities with cities across Europe to deploy trained social workers to assist children point of arrival, at service point or in any reception facility housing them, and in host communities, ensuring child protection personnel are involved in all procedures involving children and including refugee children in our child protection systems);
2: Put children first and safeguard them and their families from any form of xenophobia or discrimination;
3: Meet children’s basic needs immediately – including health, access to psychosocial support, a home and family income;
4: Keep families together and do what it takes to reunite families (by strengthening cooperation between cities to expedite family tracing and reunification);
5: Support children and their families through fast, efficient and child safe relocation schemes and toshare responsibility (with other LRGs and partnerships with local transport companies and airlines);
6: Ensure children and young people have immediate access to education, training opportunities and support to rebuild their lives;
7: Mobilise public funding for children’s needs and
8: Engage young people, safely and ethically, as key actors and partners in shaping the response –and work with youth- and refugee-led organisations.