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Supporting children and families from Ukraine

Kids in Need of Defense UK (KIND UK) has expanded its work to provide free legal support to children and young people fleeing the war in Ukraine, prioritising assistance for unaccompanied children.

We offer free legal advice and representation to a limited number of children and young people from Ukraine who are in or who want to come to the UK. KIND UK has provided free legal help to children with immigration and nationality matters since 2017. In the last year KIND UK has taken on around 600 UK immigration, nationality and citizenship cases in the UK. We have a 99% success rate with our casework. 

This service takes referrals via email, to


On 19 February 2024, the UK government announced important changes to the Immigration Rules and policies relating to the Ukraine Schemes.

KIND UK sets out the key changes resulting from government’s announcement here. This update was prepared by Cynthia Orchard, Consultant Policy Advisor, KIND UK (Ukrainian version coming soon).

Children at risk in and outside Ukraine

UNICEF reported in February 2023 that 8.36 million children from Ukraine are ‘in need’ outside Ukraine, and 4.1 million children are ‘in need’ in Ukraine. Approximately 8 million people from Ukraine have sought refuge in European countries, and approximately 4.8 million have registered for temporary protection schemes. [1]

Russian forces are committing grave violations against children in Ukraine, including sexual violence, targeting children in conflict, recruiting and forcing children to serve as soldiers, and forcibly transferring children from Ukraine to Russia. 

Some children have fled the war with their parents (mainly mothers) or other adult family members. Some have fled on their own or been separated from parents or guardians. 

The UK as Destination

The UK government has provided visa routes for those fleeing the war in Ukraine to seek safety in the UK, but some children who need protection are not eligible for these routes. 

In particular, the Homes for Ukraine scheme requires that unaccompanied children can only be sponsored by persons known to their parents prior to the war, unless there are exceptional circumstances and the sponsor is approved by the local authority.

More detailed information

KIND UK is compiling a collection of guides and information which may be of use to Ukrainian nationals and residents who are fleeing the war in Ukraine. These are listed below. Some of this content is also available in Ukrainian; if you see something here which is only available in English and would like to request it be translated, please contact us and we will prioritise it for translation.

Частина цього контенту також доступна українською мовою; Якщо ви бачите тут щось, що доступне лише англійською мовою, і хочете попросити його перекласти, будь ласка, зв’яжіться з нами, і ми визначимо пріоритет для перекладу.


KIND UK is a collaboration between five award-winning, UK-based organisations that specialise in children’s immigration and asylum law: Migrant and Refugee Children’s Legal Unit, JustRight Scotland, Coram Children’s Legal Centre, Central England Law Centre, and Greater Manchester Immigration Aid Unit.

We partner with KIND, a US charity supporting legal representation for children facing deportation proceedings alone, and which engages in research, advocacy, and capacity building in Europe.