Latest Blogs

International Migrants Day: it’s often too simple to differentiate between migrants and refugees

Thursday 18 December 2014 by Dorothy Sang

I’m British, but my mother’s family is Russian. They fled the Russian Revolution and found a safe home and a new future in the UK.

I have never needed to justify why I am here. Nor has my mother, or her mother. We are fortunate.

Migration is a touchy subject, here in the UK and around the world. We live within invisible, permeable technological borders and more tangible real-world ones.

People who want to provide a better future for their family must often justify their worthiness and what they will bring to the negotiating table – money or skills.

Refugees – those fleeing war, death or persecution – tend to be viewed less harshly, by the authorities and by the public. In contrast, economic migrants are often seen as a threat. They may have very few skills.

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Finding inspiration in Malala: how we’re helping children go to school in northern Syria

Tuesday 16 December 2014 by Claire Mason

Despite the international attention Malala’s experience has brought to the issue, education, and children who try to access it in areas affected by crisis, is under attack. Attacks on education are on the increase in Syria, for example, where it’s estimated that at least one in five schools are damaged, destroyed or occupied by armed groups or displaced people.

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South Sudan: One year on hope hangs in the balance

Monday 15 December 2014 by Dan Stewart

One year ago today the world’s newest country erupted in bitter conflict.

For many families in South Sudan, the hope that their children could finally thrive in peace was shattered.

A political disupte between the president and his deputy spiralled into violence that has now claimed at least 10,000 lies, although we may never know the true figure.

Today, there is little improvement: a political impasse continues to have devastating human consequences.

More than half the population is in need of aid.

Almost 2 million people have been forced from their homes but remain in the country, seeking safety in camps set up to protect civilians, or in communities far from the front line that are finding it hard to accommodate so many newcomers.

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Universal Health Coverage Day: ‘health for all’ isn’t pie in the sky

Friday 12 December 2014 by Anne Quesney

Today, for the first time, we celebrate Universal Health Coverage (UHC) Day. Sometimes hailed as a ‘new’ concept, the right to health was actually included in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, 1948, as well as the Alma Ata Declaration on Primary Healthcare, 1978, which sought to protect and promote the health of all people.

But nearly four decades later we still have a long way to go. 150 million people still face catastrophic healthcare costs because of direct cash payments – charges that push 100 million people into poverty each year.

And a staggering 1 billion people have never seen a health worker in their lives. Yet we know – not least from the recent Ebola outbreak – that without a strong health system and sufficient funding for public health, the poorest and most vulnerable people die unnecessarily.

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Children’s rights are human rights: Why human rights must be at the heart of development

Wednesday 10 December 2014 by Mihir Mankad

So while this Human Rights Day we celebrate that, in the 25 years since the adoption of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, the world has seen a significant reduction in deaths of children under five, we know that life isn’t just about survival. Life, most fundamentally, is about living with dignity.

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UK: on Human Rights Day, think of the children

Wednesday 10 December 2014 by Louise King

Human rights begin “in small places, close to home – so close and so small that they cannot be seen on any maps of the world. Yet they are the world of the individual person; the neighborhood he lives in; the school or college he attends… Such are the places where every man, woman, and child seeks equal justice, equal opportunity, equal dignity without discrimination. Unless these rights have meaning there, they have little meaning anywhere.”

So said Eleanor Roosevelt, the driving force behind the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Today is Human Rights Day, as it is every year – but this year is also the 25th Anniversary of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC), a document whose predecessor was drafted by Save the Children’s founder, Eglantyne Jebb.

In the next year, the UK government’s track record on children’s rights will also be scrutinised by the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child.

Remember Article 27

Article 27 of the UNCRC entitles children to a standard of living that allows a fulfilling and happy childhood and a fair start in life, and that governments have a responsibility to assist parents in making sure this happens.

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Central African Republic: a year on from the Bangui massacre

Tuesday 9 December 2014 by Mark Kaye

A year ago today I was in Bangui, on a deserted road, listening to gunfire.
On our way to a church that had overnight become home to thousands of terrified civilians, we passed a small public park.

The benches were empty and a lone body lay on the ground.

It was a boy, on his front, blood ebbing from his torso onto the grey concrete, his eyes cold and vacant.

He was one of many dead I saw that day but his is the face I can’t forget. He was young and, unlike the others, all alone.

His legs were sprawled awkwardly and it was obvious that his last moments were horrifically violent.

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After a disaster, volunteers are vital to recovery

Friday 5 December 2014 by Ian McClelland

Today is International Volunteer Day, and as Typhoon Hagupit heads towards the Philippines, threatening a repeat of the devastation caused by Typhoon Haiyan just over a year ago, it’s a timely reminder of the huge contribution volunteers make during emergency operations.

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Afghanistan: stories of survival and hope

Thursday 4 December 2014 by Daisy Baldwin

Gulsoom* is wearing a beautiful black cotton scarf embroidered with tiny gold tassels.

Whenever she comes to a difficult part in her story, she looks down at the scarf and smoothes the tassels, over and over.
“I was married when I was a child,” she says, “I remember that my first baby tooth had just fallen out.”

Gulsoom says she wants to share her story so that it can help to create change in her country.

When her new husband tried to sleep with her for the first time, Gulsoom was terrified and started screaming. So he beat her.

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Why gay rights are important for children and development

Wednesday 3 December 2014 by Simon Wright

I was in Uganda a couple of weeks ago. Discussions I had there with colleagues from across the world raised a topic about which international charities have been far too quiet. In the last few years, there’s been a growth in extreme and punitive laws against homosexuality in some of the poorest countries in the world.

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