Ukraine is among the countries most contaminated by mines: approximately 30% of its territory is potentially dangerous due to explosive objects. The UN Human Rights Monitoring Mission in Ukraine confirmed that between 24 February 2022 and 30 July 2023, landmines and other explosive objects caused 100 child casualties. Therefore, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) together with the Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine are developing a mine safety workshop so that every schoolchild knows the rules that preserve life and health. In addition, an online course on teaching mine safety for children of various age groups will be available to teachers.
“Education should give a child useful knowledge and skills. Unfortunately, mine safety knowledge will be extremely relevant now and for a long time to come in Ukraine. It is the job of adults and the entire education system to provide children with all possible information about how to stay safe. Some teachers are already actively engaged in mine education, but our goal is to reach every school, every class and every child,” said Oksen Lisovyi, Minister of Education and Science of Ukraine.
The teachers already have access to the manual with detailed class plans, as well as presentations for mine safety classes adapted for primary and secondary schools that were developed by UNICEF in Ukraine together with partners. In 2023, more than 5,000 educators, social workers and representatives of non-governmental organisations have already received training from UNICEF on how to teach mine safety to children. Together with partners and the State Emergency Service of Ukraine, they conducted offline and online mine awareness classes for more than 640,000 children in various schools and UNICEF Spilno Child Spots.
“No child should be at risk when coming home from school, walking in the park or having fun on the playground. As long as the territory of Ukraine is contaminated with mines, it is our duty to educate children about the threat of explosive objects around them and empower them to stay safe,” said Murat Sahin, UNICEF Ukraine Representative.
Interactive materials and videos for group work, developed by UNICEF together with child psychologists and mine awareness experts, are also available for mine awareness classes, which explain to children in a friendly way how to behave safely in areas that may be contaminated by mines. In particular, they include:
- interactive online lessons at the All-Ukrainian School online for distance learning, adapted for junior and high school children;
- a series of tips from psychologists for communicating with children about explosive objects;
- a leaflet with tasks from the Inforce Superteam for teenagers;
- puzzles on the topic of mine safety for preschoolers, junior and high school students;
- cartoons for children (Safe Vacation – for children aged 3-10 years, Superteam Against Mines – for children aged 8-16 years, Patron the Dog – for children aged 4-16 years);
- a video with Patron the Dog and sappers about different types of explosive objects and safe behaviours in the context of overcoming the consequences of hostilities;
- illustrative posters and games.
All materials are available for download at All about Mine Safety website and in the Spilnoteka library of useful materials.