Children's Rights in the Donbas: Challenge of Psychology of Peace

Posted: 12 Jul 2015

See all articles by Vitalii Lunov

Vitalii Lunov

Bogomolets national medical university; G.S. Kostyk Institute of Psychology, NAPS of Ukraine

Date Written: July 11, 2015


The relevance of the study confirmed by the comment of Ukrainian Ombudsman Valeria Lutkovska at a press conference "25 years of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child: status of implementation in Ukraine." It was noted that Donbas children are unprotected and deprived of their rights.

In the Donetsk and Lugansk regions before the armed conflict lived nearly 1 million children, of which about 15 000 deprived children-orphans and children without parental care. Currently, almost all of them have been taken to boarding schools and institutions, which located on the territory controlled by the Government of Ukraine. However, today there is a more threat to physical and psychological well-being for children who are living in settlements located in hazardous areas in the vicinity of the zone of the antiterrorist operation, and subjected to shelling.

The main concern is about the developing psychological assistance for children's in social rehabilitation centers (Lisichansk Luhansk region, Dzerzhinsk, Donetsk region), regional orphanage (Severodonetsk, Artemovsk), boarding schools (Mariupol, village. Mironovskoe, Kostiantynivka, Artemovsk Donetsk region) and others. According to operational data at these institutions there are almost 2,000 children. In this regard, we noted the need for quick timely, temporary actions by the state authorities on the trafficking of children to safe regions of Ukraine and conducting them psychotherapy.

More difficult psychological situation is in areas that are not controlled by Ukraine. For residents of Donbass is difficult to register the newborn child under the Law of Ukraine (the local authorities propose Russian citizenship), to mention the native language of upbringing, to show any national symbols of state and national identity.Moreover there is a problem with the changing territorial (regional) identity of the parents. Since the military conflict in Ukraine has signs of civil war, there are many families that are divided ideologically between Russian and Ukrainian values (especially in Donbas). This leads to the fact that some parents are in marriage chronic conflicts, determine diffusing or bipolar national orientations ignoring the opinions, feelings of attachments, children rights express their views, practice their own religion, association with beloved others.

We discovered a lot of families in which young children are forced to hate as Russian or Ukrainian oriented parents, children who hide their ethnic identity for fear of being marginalized. Thus the violence of basic children social rights in Donbass requires an understanding the social situation of personality development.

The biggest problem now is that we do not know how should look true peace. The world after the war it seems intimidating. What will happen to the children bilingual? What will feel the children of the Russian-Ukrainian family in relation to themselves? What part of themselves, they will crowd out and hate?

Keywords: national and territorial identity, deprived children, social rights, psychology of peace

Suggested Citation

Lunov, Vitalii, Children's Rights in the Donbas: Challenge of Psychology of Peace (July 11, 2015). Available at SSRN:

Vitalii Lunov (Contact Author)

Bogomolets national medical university ( email )

Peremohy Ave
Kyiv, 01601

G.S. Kostyk Institute of Psychology, NAPS of Ukraine ( email )

Pankivska street


Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Abstract Views
PlumX Metrics