to Address Child Sexual Abuse in Ukraine
NGORC is implementing the project Building Capacity to Address Child Sexual Abuse in Ukraine, with support from the World Childhood Foundation
Council of Europe research shows that one in five children (under 18 years old) in Ukraine had experienced some form of sexual abuse, which often leads to long-term consequences for the physical and emotional health and development of the child.
While official numbers show that 324 children in Ukraine became victims of sexual abuse in 2019, the real number is estimated to be much higher. In 2020, the official data from the National Police reported 410 cases of child sexual abuse. In the first three month of 2021, the number of reported cases was 75. This data only shows the cases of child sexual abuse that reached the court.
For a successful response to child sexual abuse, a connected and holistic system that includes government, international donors and organizations, NGOs, research institutions, and citizens working together is needed.
Coordination between all these different entities should be continuously encouraged. In Ukraine, NGOs are organizations that drive the country’s development. They strive to ensure that adequate legislation is in place and products and services are safe for children by design.
Ukrainian civic organizations also have the power to increase the government’s accountability and engage citizens at the grassroots level. However, NGOs in Ukraine do not have sufficient capacity to address the issues of child abuse and child sexual exploitation, nor have the sufficient resources to meet the expectations to prevent and effectively combat these issues consistently.
According to NGORC’s baseline study, most NGO representatives (63.2% of respondents) underestimate the number of children who suffer from child sexual abuse in Ukraine. Thus, they do not have a full or accurate understanding of the problem.
According to the baseline research, among the NGO staff who work with children, 39.2% indicated that their organization is not actively implementing any Child Protection Policy: 26.7% said their organization does not have a Child Protection Policy, and 12.5% don’t know if there is a Child Protection Policy in their organization.