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To the President of the European Commission
To the EU Commissioner on Health and Food Safety
To the Prime Ministers/Presidents of all European Countries

04 March 2022

All Europe is watching the situation in Ukraine. We see hospitals trying to continue to provide care, and we see hundreds of thousands of refugees escaping from the conflict into other European countries. The Union of European Neonatal and Perinatal Societies (UENPS), the European Society of Paediatric Research (ESPR), the European Society for Paediatric and Neonatal Intensive Care (ESPNIC), the European Foundation for the Care of Newborn Infants (EFCNI), the Global Alliance for Newborn Care (GLANCE) together with their Parent Advisory Boards, the European Association of Perinatal Medicine (EAPM) and the European Society for Paediatric Anaesthesiology (ESPA) are particularly concerned to 1) help the healthcare providers and facilities in Ukraine and to 2) protect the children, mothers and pregnant women among the refugees.

All European governments have ratified the 1989 UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, which recognizes the right of the child to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of health. In particular, our countries have committed themselves to protect children from all forms of violence, and they are equally committed to taking appropriate measures to provide protection and humanitarian assistance to all refugee children.

We know that healthcare facilities in Ukraine desperately need medical supplies and are critically short of oxygen. We call all European countries to ensure that those facilities urgently receive the supplies they need. We also ask to protect healthcare workers caring for injured people, in particular women and children.

Children, mothers and pregnant women are the most vulnerable among the refugees arriving in our countries today. We call on all European governments to honour the commitment they signed up to in the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and provide those refugees with the special care and protection they so clearly need.