Young People’s Voices on Ukraine

What do children and young people have to say about the war in Ukraine? And what can we learn by listening to them?

On Thursday 9th June, 2022, the Visualising War project teamed up with Never Such Innocence (NSI) to host an online conversation with young people, academics and policy makers from all around the world via a live webinar.

Since 2013, NSI has been giving children and young people a voice on conflict. Via an annual competition, schools workshops and high-profile roadshows, NSI provides opportunities for young people aged 9-18 to reflect on different aspects of conflict and conflict-resolution, and to share their views with politicians, policy-makers and other adults in influential, decision-making positions.

Since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, NSI has received many works of art, poems, songs and speeches from children and young people all around the world, expressing their horror at the unfolding conflict and their concern for everyone involved. You can see some of them here. With their permission, we wanted to share some of this material with a wider audience, to amplify the voices of children who are directly and indirectly affected by the war in Ukraine, and to generate a wider conversation about the impact that young people’s insights and expertise can have in policy-making circles.

This webinar featured contributions from a number of children and young people based in different parts of the world, from Ukraine to China, Lithuania to Sri Lanka, South Korea to Canada. A panel of academics, defence experts and policy-makers joined the conversation, to reflect on what these young voices have to say – and on the important role they can play in deepening our understanding of conflict, its aftermath, peace-building, post-conflict recovery and social justice.

The webinar began with a sharing of some of the speeches, poetry and art that had been submitted by children and young people on the conflict in Ukraine, before moving to an inclusive discussion with panel members and opportunities for some audience Q&A. You can see some of the artwork and listen to a recording of the webinar here.