At risk of falling through the cracks? : the protection of children in state care in conflict situations in international law and practice

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Gscheidlen, Anne Sophie
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A day before the start of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the Council of Europe vowed to create standards and mechanisms on child protection in armed conflict by 2027. It further promised to address the discrimination of children in State care. The need for a comprehensive child protection scheme during and post-armed conflict as well as efforts to combat the marginalization of children in State care have, thus, been acknowledged. Yet, as far as Europe is concerned, States have only begun to fuse child protection during armed conflict with the awareness of the heightened vulnerability and marginalization of children in State care in reaction to the war against Ukraine, a country which has one of the highest child institutionalization rates in the region. With thousands of children in State care continuing to be evacuated abroad in a humanitarian effort to protect their lives and rights, this thesis seeks to firstly discuss the (in)sufficiency of the existing international legal rights and protective framework for these children. Secondly, the thesis documents how States view their obligations towards these children, and what has already been undertaken by the international community vis-à-vis these children in light of the war against Ukraine as of early July 2022. Keywords: child protection, rights of the child, children in State care, armed conflict, Ukraine
Second semester University: University of Tartu. Awarded thesis 2021/2022
children, protection, children's rights, armed conflict, Ukraine, institutional care