Children’s Rights Roundup: ‘Buy Ukrainian Book Rights’

From Publishing Perspectives:

As Publishing Perspectives readers following our Rights Roundups know, the Federation of European Publishers in Brussels today (February 24) is marking the anniversary of Vladimir Putin’s unprovoked and savage invasion of Ukraine with a statement of support for the Voices of Children Foundation, which has published a book, War Through the Voices of Children. Proceeds of all sales go to special programs in psychological and emotional support for kids . . .

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As festive as the moment normally might be on the approach to Elena Pasoli’s Bologna Children’s Book Fair in its 60th edition, our world industry can do no less than to observe the fact that one year later, the greatest land war in Europe since World War II is going into advanced stages of combat severity and unthinkable casualties; now officially classified crimes against humanity; deepening military complexity and obligations; and—thankfully—intensifying international resolve against Putin and the Russian nation’s unspeakable aggression against the democratic sovereign state of Ukraine.

It’s meaningful to us today that the first of four calls to action described just below is Buy rights to Ukrainian books. We’re particularly mindful of this because in all the many book deals submitted to us for today’s Rights Roundup, not one title was a book originally written in Ukrainian or by a Ukrainian author.

The International Publishers Association (IPA) in Geneva is making a joint statement today with the federation, laying out the two organizations’ concerns about the damage to book publishing and education for Ukrainians under Putin’s violence, which opened on February 24, 2022.

From the IPA, we have these figures:

  • The number of publishers operating in Ukraine has dropped from 1,053 in 2021 to 563 in 2022
  • Educational publishers have been unable to print textbooks for pupils
  • UNICEF reports that more than 2,600 schools have been damaged, affecting 5.3 million children
  • UNESCO has verified damage to 241 cultural sites including museums and libraries

The United States’ secretary of state, Antony Blinken, this morning (February 24) has told the United Nations’ Security Council that in the last year, among Russians’ atrocities have been bombings of more than 2,600 schools and abductions by Russians of at least 6,000 Ukrainian children for relocation to Russia—”some as young as four months old.”

Link to the rest at Publishing Perspectives