IBBY Statement on the War in Ukraine

IBBY was founded in the wake of World War II with the devastation in Europe and much of the world deeply affecting thousands of children and families. And yet, Jella Lepman believed this was the right moment to bring people together to work toward peace, understanding and tolerance through sharing literature with children. This was her motivation as she founded IBBY and her vision continues to be our inspiration.

IBBY works tirelessly to advocate for books and reading as a fundamental way to move toward a peaceful and tolerant world. Unfortunately, there continue to be wars and conflicts around the globe. In particular, we are appalled at the constant and ferocious Russian attacks against the sovereign state of Ukraine, especially the killing of thousands of innocent civilians and the trauma it is causing children and their families. We strongly and firmly condemn the unjustified war in Ukraine and greatly admire the efforts of IBBY Ukraine and the Ukrainian book community as they work to help children survive and cope. We are actively supporting the relief efforts in Poland to provide books for Ukrainian refugees who have had to flee their war-torn country. We continually look for further ways to be of help to those in crisis.

With 80 national sections of IBBY around the world, our IBBY family is distressed when any of our sections finds itself in a country under attack. IBBY Ukraine has been a beacon of hope for children and their books for 25 years and we reiterate our respect and admiration for them as they continue their work despite facing the most difficult circumstances. As the IBBY family, we stand together in our commitment to international understanding and to a brighter, more peaceful future.

IBBY Executive Committee

28 October 2022