1 June 2017

Today, on International Children’s Day, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) with the support of Global Affairs Canada and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and in cooperation with government agencies, partner civil society organizations and socially responsible businesses, organized an outdoor event for children – the Alley of Dreams – to raise awareness about social protection of children’s rights.

Children from vulnerable categories, those living in family-type homes and foster families, were also invited to participate in the event. “According to the IOM survey, two out of every five vulnerable children in Ukraine are ready to accept at least one offer that may lead to their involvement in human trafficking. It is important to timely talk to these children about their rights and prospects for their future in order to prevent risky behaviour”, said IOM Chief of Mission, Manfred Profazi.

The young participants were engaged in various activities: they attended the Living Library and talked to “books” – which included representatives of different professions who shared their experience with the children and encouraged them to “dream big”; explored Fairytale Land and discussed with Ukrainian celebrities famous fairy tales through the lens of human rights violations; found new hobbies at the creative workshop stations. Experts on safe migration, gender equality and protection of children’s rights explained to participants what rights they have, how they should treat others and how to make responsible decisions in different life situations.

“Safe and secure future of children and youths is one of the main priorities of Canada’s international assistance. Improvement of well-being and empowerment of children and youth is impossible without protection and promotion of the rights of the child. In Ukraine we join forces with IOM and other partners to prevent child trafficking and reform the system of juvenile justice. I hope today’s events inspire children to understand their rights, fully realize their potential, and achieve their dreams”, remarked Karim Morcos, Director, Head of Development Cooperation at the Embassy of Canada in Ukraine.

At the Alley of Dreams, children met with the Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs Anastasiia Deeva, TV host and actress Tala Kalatay, TV host and founder of the “Studway” Project Tetiana Terekhova, writer and human rights activist Larysa Denysenko, the winner of the fourth season of “The Voice” Ihor Hrohotskyi, players from the Ukrainian National Football Team and other Ukrainian celebrities, public servants and diplomats. Together, they showed children that everything is possible and dreams do come true.

While investing in the protection of children’s rights, we guarantee our own safety. Children who are taught the right values, trust the police and think big can create a new society full of mutual respect and safety”, stated Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs Anastasiia Deeva.

The event was organized in partnership with NGOs “La-Strada Ukraine”, “A21”, and “Daryna Zholdak Foundation”, the Football Federation of Ukraine and socially responsible businesses Bosch, Coca-Cola, DEC lab, lifecell and “Three Bears”.