On the 12th of January, at the London School of Economics the head of Save the Children International, Helle Thorning-Schmidt, gave a speech addressing the violation of children’s rights across the world. In her speech, she has demanded an increase in funding from the United Nations. The increase in funding will be used to investigate crimes against children. According to Ms Thorning-Schmidt, Save the Children International is currently “chronically underfunded.” More than 50% of those affected by war are children but less than 5% of humanitarian funding is spent protecting or educating them.
Save the Children International is a nonprofit organisation that champions the rights of children across the world. Save the Children International has led global action on the rights of children for more than 90 years. They aim to reduce the child death rate and improve the future of children around the world. Most of their relief and support is targeted at developing nations. While they are not a UN body, they do have general consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council.
In her speech, Ms Thorning-Schmidt identified many problem areas that affect children’s rights. For example, Ms Thorning-Schmidt identified the need for independent special courts to hold peacekeepers accountable in war zones (in the absence of functioning legal systems). She also highlighted the issues surrounding child refuges who are being held in detention like conditions in Europe. Detention of children being a clear contravention of the Convention on the Rights of the Child. Forced displacement is one of the biggest dangers facing children in war zones (for example the conflict in Syria has threatened and endangered the lives of some 8 million children), while others become child soldiers (in South Sudan some 17,000 children have been recruited into the armed forces).
There are many scenarios worldwide that can lead to a violation of the rights of children. Hopefully Save the Children International will be successful in their demand for greater funding so that they continue their good work across the world.
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