Ukraine is the largest country in Europe, located in the eastern part of the continent. Ukraine borders Belarus in the north, Russia in the east, Moldova and Romania in the southwest, as well as Hungary, Slovakia, and Poland in the west.

  • Population of Ukraine: 45,590,000.

  • GNI per capita: $3,500.

  • Population below poverty line: 15%.

  • Children and youth under 18 years of age constitute 8,003,000.

  • Gross primary school enrollment 100% (2011).

  • Children living in residential institutions: 94,383 (2011).

  • Street children: more than 100,000.

  • Orphans and children deprived of parental care (0-18) institutionalized in orphanages exceeds 24,000 (2011).

  • Children living in shelters: more than 11,000 (2011).


Where are Ukraine's Marginalized Children?

More than 100,000 Ukrainian biological or social orphans have either been abandoned or neglected living in economically distressed households. Biological or full orphans are children with no living parents. Social orphans have living parents but were abandoned by or removed from families where parents abuse alcohol, drugs, or are incarcerated and thus deprived of parental care.

Approximately 90 percent of Ukrainian orphans are classified as social orphans, or children deprived of parental care; the rest are biological orphans.

Of 100,000 identified orphans, approximately 24,000 have been isolated in self-contained orphanages with substandard quality of education and unsafe living conditions subjecting children and youth to physical, psychological, and sexual abuse.

Furthermore, approximately 150,000 children live on the streets. These are the most vulnerable children and youth, susceptible to crime, alcoholism, drug-addiction, and prostitution. They are forced to survive on their own with no equal educational and employment opportunities; no emotional support to cope with challenges entering mainstream society and adult life; and no housing.