When government officials will recognize 1 million Ukrainian children in occupation?

When government officials will recognize 1 million Ukrainian children in occupation?

For almost a week, I waited for some first statements after the appointment of a new Minister of Science and Education Oksen Lisovyi, and the appearance of the Deputy Prime Minister for Innovation, Education, Science and Technology Development Mykhailo Fedorov, in which they would mention children living in occupation (some for a year, and some 9 years already).

But alas!

Oksen Lisovyi: "MES cares for all children: both the 500,000+ who are now abroad and those who stay at home. We measure educational losses (not “gaps”, no), develop a system to ameliorate them, and prioritize mental health."

Mykhailo Fedorov:

"- total fight against bureaucracy;

- supporting talented teachers with decent pay;

- giving freedom to education managers;

- training teachers with the focus on the development of English, digital skills, entrepreneurship;

- grant and rapid project funding;

- new high-quality services for schoolchildren, students, and parents;

- for teachers - developing an online system to work with content, creating a platform for managing educational processes and obtaining data for making quality management decisions."

Are two respected government officials to blame for not mentioning 1 million children in occupation? Oddly enough, but I think they are NOT! Because these children have not existed for the Ukrainian society for 9 years, neither do they exist in the information field or in the minds of most Ukrainians.

They do not exist for the official statistics with its peculiar note – "Data for 2016-2023 are given without taking into account the temporarily occupied areas of part of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions, the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol."

There were 7,348,531 children aged from birth to 18 in Ukraine at the beginning of 2022, which was 17.9% of the total permanent population of Ukraine. As for the children in occupation, they are "ours", but the state does not count them. It's that simple, it doesn't count more than 1 million children.

And if it doesn't count them, why mention them, why protect them, why build some state policy around them. We crossed them out, and that's it!

Therefore, why be offended with government officials who do not mention children in occupation, because these children have become "invisible children" thanks to you and me, not even "a measurement error". They just do not exist!

And if it weren't for the full-scale invasion, society would "not notice" the children who began to be taken to Russia, just as it did not notice the "train of hope" in 2014, when Crimean children were taken out.

Now, when there is an ICC warrant for the arrest of Putin and Lvova-Belova, society has woken up and remembered the 16,000 children taken away "for re-education and recoding" to Russia. But it still does not want to notice more than 1 million children in occupation, who are educated every day by erasing their Ukrainian identity.

Are government officials to blame for the fact that we are the ones who "deleted" these children from our lives and from the life of Ukraine? Maybe not! Are we to blame? Probably, yes!

I just want to remind everyone who is reading this post: every EIGHTH Ukrainian child is now living in occupation! So go on sleeping peacefully, don't worry, because your children are with you in the free part of Ukraine. Even when the air-raid alarm sounds, you can tell your children in Ukrainian about the imminent Victory and they will grow up Ukrainians! Have we left that right to children in occupation? I'm not sure.

PS. I'm sorry if I don't mention everyone who has been fighting for Ukrainian children in occupation for 9 years, but I am very grateful to CCE "Almenda" ZMINA. Crimean Human Rights Center_ SOS Donbas SOS Vostok SOS UkrainianHelsinki Human Rights Union - UHHRU Olga Skripnik Regional Council of Ukrainians of Crimea - KRUK Regional Center for Human Rights Serhiy Mokreniuk Andriy Shchekun and many other caring Crimean people. But we are few compared to 40 million Ukrainians.

Therefore, I urge you to make Ukrainian children in occupation visible, let's protect them together, because they are our children!


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