Unbroken solidarity with the people of Ukraine
Foto: Sylwia Bartyzel/Unsplash (https://unsplash.com/license)
Young people in Ukraine in particular are suffering the consequences of the war. Millions of children and young people have had to leave their familiar places to flee the Russian attacks. Girls and young women in particular are exposed to sexualized violence. Many young women are threatened by human traffickers as they flee. Thousands of children have been forcibly deported to Russia in violation of international law.
Social structures also suffer from the attacks. Young people who normally enable civil society engagement in Ukraine are on the run, repeatedly having to seek safety or defend their homes. As a result, many youth organizations based on volunteerism, voluntarism and self-organization are threatened in their existence.
Last year, together with our member organizations, we mobilized many forces to support the young people affected by the war of aggression. In intensive exchange with the board of the National Youth Council of Ukraine (NYCU), we organized concrete aid for Ukraine and extensive support for refugees together with our member organizations.
We have networked with partner youth rings in many states in Europe and jointly coordinated activities and aid. Our member organizations, especially in cooperation with the Polish Youth Council (PROM), have organized a wide range of assistance for people in and from Ukraine. Our thanks go to our partner structures across Europe. Together we have shown that international youth work is an important tool for civil conflict transformation.
Board members from the Ukrainian Youth Council were able to continue their work from the Bundesjugendring office in Berlin from April 2022. We supported NYCU to organize a networking meeting of member organizations in Western Ukraine in December 2022. We were also able to secure a significant increase in German government contributions to the Council of Europe's Youth Division. This also made it possible to provide special funding for Ukrainian youth associations.
One year after the start of the criminal war of aggression against Ukraine, which is contrary to international law, our solidarity with the people of Ukraine remains unbroken. We continue to stand by our colleagues and friends of the Ukrainian Youth Council and its member organizations. We also reaffirmed our solidarity with young democratic forces in Belarus and Russia who, despite state repression, continue to engage in civil resistance and fight for freedom.