The Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, Dunja Mijatović, is hosting a pop-up exhibition to underline the necessity of having the voices of children affected by war heard.
At the inauguration, the Commissioner stated that despite mentions of "never again", the war has been going on for 3 months and "each new day of war aggravates the devastating long-term effects on children in Ukraine and in Europe. We bear the responsibility to hear children’s voices. PACE President, Tiny Kox, praised the Museum's capacity to offer a better understanding of what war is and announced the development of guidelines for states to adopt child protection policies for war-related crises.
The President and Founder of the War Childhood Museum, Jasminko Halilović, asked for stronger European support for the children of Ukraine and expressed hope "that every visitor to this exhibition will be more motivated to demand concrete help with which Ukraine can ensure the safety of its children. The Museum's Ukraine project manager, Svitlana Osipchuk arrived at the opening from Kyiv and delivered an emotional speech, reminding all that two-thirds of children in Ukraine are now directly affected by war. “Please stand by Ukraine and its children,” she concluded.
LISTEN by the War Childhood Museum presents personal belongings and stories of children from Ukraine, but also Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Kosovo*, as well as experiences of child refugees from Afghanistan and Syria. "By recognizing the multilayered consequences of conflicts, we can better understand our responsibility to ensure the safety and wellbeing of all children", says the Commissioner.
The pop-up exhibition LISTEN is presented during PACE summer session from 20 to 24 June 2022 in the lobby of the Hemicycle in the Palais de l'Europe in Strasbourg. It's available in English and French.
The War Childhood Museum – the world’s only museum focused exclusively on childhoods affected by armed conflict – opened its doors in 2017 in Sarajevo. The WCM’s collection today features over 5,000 objects from 16 armed conflicts. With offices in Sarajevo, Kyiv, the Hague, and New York City, and activities centering on research, exhibition, and education implemented in other countries, the WCM is gradually becoming an international platform for all whose childhood has been affected by war. In 2018, the War Childhood Museum received The Council of Europe Museum Prize under the European Museum of the Year Scheme.
* All references to Kosovo, whether to the territory, institutions or population, shall be understood in full compliance with United Nations Security Council Resolution 1244 (1999) and without prejudice to the status of Kosovo.